Ex-Selfridge commander uses Tlaib image to launch run for Mitchell's U.S. House seat

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Air Force Brig. Gen. Doug "Odie" Slocum is joining the Republican primary race for retiring GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell's 10th District seat in the U.S. House and using an image of Rep. Rashida Tlaib to illustrate Washington's dysfunction.

Slocum, who was a career fighter pilot and previously commanded the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County, announced his campaign Monday.

His campaign's launch included a video that focused on his work during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Later in the video, Slocum, 57, says the country’s "values are under attack again."

"Washington is being overrun by politicians driven by their own self interest that do not represent the values that I fought to protect," Slocum says over images of Democratic U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York.

Slocum is running in a district that includes parts of northern Macomb County, St. Clair County and the Thumb. The primary race has already drawn state Rep. Shane Hernandez of Port Huron, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Slocum of Macomb Township described himself as a "fresh outsider" in an interview Monday. He has never run for office before.

"I just see this as an opportunity to continue my service," he said.

Slocum touted his support for President Donald Trump, who won the district by 32 percentage points in 2016.

Doug Slocum

Trump understands how businesses work, and people are tired of professional politicians, Slocum said.

"With the deck stacked against him, I think what he’s done is absolutely phenomenal," Slocum added.

Voters first elected Mitchell to represent the 10th District in 2016. In July 2019, he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election and voiced frustration with gridlock in Congress. Mitchell said federal lawmakers were "too busy playing politics" to address the country’s problems.

Hernandez announced his campaign for Mitchell’s seat on Oct. 10. Slocum followed suit Monday. According to Slocum’s announcement, he is a career fighter pilot who’s known by his flight call sign "Odie."

Slocum moved to Michigan when he began commanding Selfridge Air National Guard Base in 2014, he said. He retired earlier this year.

According to his website, he serves on the boards of the Fisher House of Michigan and the National Defense Industrial Association.