Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Monday he run next year for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Debbie Stabenow (search).

"Now is the right time to move forward," Bouchard, a former state senator, said on WJR-AM.

Bouchard, 48, was appointed as Oakland County sheriff in 1999, then elected to the position in 2000 and re-elected in 2004. He served in the state Senate from 1991 to 1999.

Stabenow was elected to the Senate in 2000, narrowly beating Sen. Spencer Abraham (search), who was seeking a second term. She had served four years in the House of Representatives and 16 years in the state Legislature.

Other Michigan Republicans considering a Senate run in 2006 are Abraham's wife, Jane Abraham; real estate developer Peter Cummings; Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca; and the Rev. Keith Butler. Industrial engineer Bart Baron already is running.