Former Selfridge Air National Guard Base commander Doug “Odie” Slocum announced today that he is running as a Republican for the 10th Congressional District seat that extends from northern Macomb County to the tip of the Thumb Area.
Slocum, who rose to the rank of U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen., retired in May after 35 years of military service. He will vie for the post being vacated by Rep. Paul Mitchell in 2020, in the same district that Candice Miller represented for 14 years.
The 57-year-old retired aviator said he admires Donald Trump and, like the president, will run as an anti-politician.
“With the deck stacked against him, I think what he’s done is absolutely phenomenal,” Slocum told The Detroit News.
The candidate’s announcement included a campaign video that made it clear he strongly rejects the anti-Trump messages coming from the left wing of the Democratic Party. The video featured photos of freshmen Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
“Washington is being overrun with politicians driven by their own self-interests and not the values I fought to protect. We need real leaders in Congress to work with President Trump and stand up for the principles on which our country was built: defending life, securing our borders, and growing a robust and vibrant economy,” said the Macomb Township resident making his first run for public office.
Slocum’s entry into the race for the open seat had been anticipated by some political observers, and the former brigadier general could enjoy the role of frontrunner all the way to November 2020. State Rep. Shane Hernandez, the Port Huron Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee in Lansing, was the first to jump into the contest earlier this month.
With Trump’s narrow win here three years ago, the 10th District emerged as the reddest area of Michigan, a territory where the candidate who emerges from the Republican primary is virtually guaranteed a victory in the general election.
Mitchell, first elected in 2016, surprised the Republican establishment by announcing in July, just 2 ½ years after taking office, that he was stepping down at the end of his term. He expressed disgust with the gridlock and hyper-partisanship that is rampant on Capitol Hill.
When Miller, now the Macomb County public works commissioner, was first elected to the 10th District in 2002, her campaign was helped significantly by the status and popularity of her late husband, Don Miller, who was also a former Selfridge commander at the Harrison Township base.