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Rep. Hoekstra to Run for Mich. Governor

By Ben Pershing

On the same day President Obama made clear that Michigan's primary industry is on thin ice, Rep. Pete Hoeksta (R) is announcing his candidacy for governor of the beleaguered Wolverine State.

"We will rebuild and reinvigorate this state, creating an environment for investment and job creation," Hoekstra said, even as Obama was in Washington outlining tough new guidelines and deadlines GM and Chrysler would have to meet in order to survive.

Hoekstra's gubernatorial candidacy had been expected since he announced in December that he planned to retire from his heavily Republican House seat in the western part of the state. Current Gov. Jennifer Granholm is leaving office due to term limits. Hoekstra joins a crowded GOP field, with state Attorney General Michael Cox, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and state Sen. Tom George are already announced and a few more high-profile Republicans -- including Dominos CEO David Brandon -- mulling the contest. Several Democrats, led by Lt. Gov. John Cherry, are either in or considering getting in the race.

Michigan's struggling economy makes for an uncertain political playing field. Obama won the state in 2008 with 57 percent of the vote, and Democrats enjoy a strong registration advantage there. But at the same time, a poll released last week showed that 63 percent of respondents gave Granholm a negative job rating, suggesting that a Republican who runs on a platform of change might have a shot.

By Ben Pershing  |  March 30, 2009; 12:18 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Campaign  
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As a Michigan political junkie, I can see why so many Republicans want a shot at the Governor's Mansion. In my opinion, Granholm has done a good job with the hand she was dealt (auto economy plus obstructionist GOP in the state house).

With high unemployment and other problems, any incumbent Guv would be unpopular. But she's not on the ballot.

In that sense, Lt.Gov. Cherry is not a good pick--tied to the current administration but with none of Jennifer's skills. The Dems need a fresh face.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | March 30, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Change is definitely what's going to save us from the disaster we're now facing, regardless of who's professing it. The key is that they need to back those words with actions. Hopefully we can turn this economy around and actually focus on solving the deeper, systemic issues for why we're in this situation. Obviously bad banking's a good place to start, but there are other issues, like global poverty, that have huge economic and geopolitical ramifications.

The Borgen Project ( has some interesting insight into addressing the issues of global poverty, something we can remedy easily and sustainably.

Some interesting figures to ponder:
$30 billion USD: The annual shortfall to end global poverty.
$550 billion USD: The annual US defense budget.

Posted by: concernedcitizen1111 | March 30, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Hoekstra is essentially a moron/remora, and Michigan will refuse him and his party that has such blatant disregard for common Americans.

Look at Hoekstra's "contributions" in his current Peter-Principle position.

Posted by: Hub2 | April 1, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

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