Former Ferndale mayor runs for Oakland County Sheriff

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Craig Covey

A familiar face is challenging Michael Bouchard in the race for Oakland County Sheriff.

Craig Covey, the former mayor of Ferndale believes he can do a better job however, sheriff Bouchard says his opponent doesn't have the right experience.

Covey is running as a Democrat against Michael Bouchard who is a Republican.

The focus of Covey's campaign is to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical purposes in the county, and to tackle the fight with heroin addiction and overdoses.

Covey believes that he brings a certain change and leadership that the current sheriff does not.

"He's a career politician stuck in the 1970s and I think we need to move forward in Oakland County," Covey said. "With the Homeland Security threats and all the challenges of the community, I think you need someone who understands the totality of the job, not just someone who wants to smoke marijuana."

The sheriff is going after Covey's lack of experience in law enforcement.

"It's kind of like tonight I want to be the head of surgery at Beaumont and say hey, 'I'm going to go down and be the head of surgery,'" said Bouchard. "I'm not sure if any of you would want to have me come do surgery on you."

"The office of sheriff is an elected position," Covey said. "He hasn't been a practicing officer in 30 years. I was the mayor of this city. I was a councilman and I was on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners on the committee that oversees the sheriff's department."

It's clear that both the sheriff and his opponent are duking it out. So what are their views of marijuana use?

"Because the people voted and said we want medical marijuana, fine," said Bouchard. "That's when I went to the legislature and said create a process. Create dispensaries that are regulated, authorized, and overseen, so when someone goes in they know what they're getting. They know the dosage, they know it's clean and they know the person selling it to them is not a convicted felon.

"A pretty simple piece of legislation that should have been done, and they have not done it."

Covey has his own take.

"He says he's not against it?" Covey said. "He's not against medical marijuana in Oakland County. Sheriff Bouchard has spent millions of taxpayer dollars going after patients, going after grandmothers who bake brownies. This is a county that is very difficult. People are afraid of the sheriff. He should spend time and resources going after heroin. People are dying from heroin."

The sheriff says legislation he's called for has helped save 25 lives from a heroin overdose since enacted.

"I don't believe you can arrest your way out of opioid addiction," Bouchard said. "You have to have a community wide process and focus. You need education, treatment, and diversion to get them out of the criminal justice system."

Every resident FOX 2 spoke to Oakland County say they're all for legalizing marijuana for recreational and medical use.
the primary  will be on August 2nd, the general election in November.

Bouchard has experience and Covey knows it is a big challenge and calls it David vs. Goliath.