Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan has gained endorsements from three major papers in his state as he battles for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
“All across the state, our message of electing a strong and fiscally conservative governor to lead Michigan is resonating,” the nine-term congressman’s campaign said in an e-mail to supporters on Sunday.
Hoekstra is locked in a tight race with Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, his leading opponent, with the two running neck and neck in recent polls. The primary is on Aug. 3.
The Detroit Free Press said in its endorsement of Hoekstra: “Hoekstra is a Republican's Republican — staunchly pro-business and anti-abortion; skeptical of government regulation and defensive of state authority over federal imposition.”
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Hoekstra “has a creative streak and knows how to stretch a dollar — useful skills in tight fiscal times that are likely to be with state government for a while.”
The Grand Rapids Press said: “As a lawmaker, Mr. Hoekstra as a solid record of fiscal conservatism, something the state needs more than ever right now . . .
“His record in Congress suggests he would be able to work with Democrats, and wouldn’t hesitate to criticize fellow Republicans if he saw the need. As chair and then ranking Republican of the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Hoekstra was a vocal critic of President Bush’s attempts to exclude Congress in major intelligence decisions.”
The Muskegon Chronicle, which is published in Hoekstra’s congressional district, said in its endorsement that Hoekstra “is the candidate with the experience and the background Michigan needs. His 18 years as a Congressman representing West Michigan provided him with the legislative experience a governor needs. He understands the process, he knows how to build a coalition . . .
“A straightforward guy who believes government should follow common sense, Hoekstra pledges to hold state officials and employees accountable.”
Hoekstra’s e-mail stated: “These newspaper endorsements show that when you run a strong and honest grassroots campaign, there is so much that can be achieved.”
In an interview with Newsmax last week, Hoekstra was asked how his campaign differs from those of Cox and other candidates. He said: “One thing that is a clear differentiator is, I believe in the people of Michigan. I’m all about giving them more freedom, less solutions from government. Cut red tape. Cut bureaucracy. Cut spending and cut taxes. Give the people of Michigan freedom back and we’ll be amazed at what they can do to bring our economy back.”
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