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.
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