We fully acknowledge this is pure gossip – but it’s such good gossip. As the Republicans in Oakland County admit that 2020 isn’t going to be their year to take back the county executive seat, the potential candidates rumored to be going for it keep dwindling. Despite speculation, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard (R) has no intention of going for the top spot, preferring to stay top dog of the sheriff’s department for at least another four-year term. Bouchard, who was appointed to the position in January 1999 after the untimely death of Sheriff John Nichols, was a state senator at the time. At one point, he had aspirations of higher office, running unsuccessfully for governor and U.S. Senate. He has been re-elected five times – so far – to run one of the nation’s largest sheriff’s departments, with over 1,400 employees and with a budget bigger than that of the Oakland County Executive. He also has a national profile with the National Sheriff’s Association. So, here’s what’s running around the rumor mill: He’ll run again in 2020, and maybe also in 2024. Then his son, also named Michael Bouchard, an Army vet who became an Oakland County sheriff’s deputy in the last year, will run for the top spot. With the same name… will the public spot the difference?