Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra squares off on Tuesday in the Michigan primary in a race to win the Republican nomination to face liberal Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November.
It is a race that Hoekstra deserves to win.
In his battle against leading GOP challenger Clark Durant, founder of a nonprofit school system in the state, Hoekstra’s chief asset is his experience fighting the Washington establishment.
First elected in 1992, Hoekstra served eight terms in the U.S. House before leaving office to run for Michigan governor in 2010. He finished second in the Republican primary.
While in the House Hoekstra served as chairman of the powerful Intelligence Committee from 2004 to 2007.
Political newcomer Durant, on the other hand, has no experience as a legislator in Washington, and Hoekstra with his House background is in a far better position to get things done for the people of Michigan.
Hoekstra has without doubt burnished his conservative credentials during his long tenure in Washington.
“I’ve got a consistent record of voting against tax increases, voting for small government, voting to move federal programs out of Washington and bringing them back to the local level,” he told Newsmax.
“My record is very clear. I believe that America’s future, Michigan’s future, begins with the people of Michigan and doesn’t begin in Washington, D.C.”
The Democratic incumbent Stabenow, he added, is “talking about bigger government. She’s talking about the federal government taking over healthcare, taking over student loans, taking over many aspects of the private sector.
“She needs not only a challenge, she needs to be replaced.”
Hoekstra believes he can help quell the bipartisan bickering that hinders progress in Washington, referring to the work he did as chairman of the Intelligence Committee alongside Republican Sen. Susan Collins and two Democrats to reform the intelligence community.
He can also point to his experience on the House Budget Committee, when he helped produce a balanced budget every year.
Another significant point: Hoekstra is in a better position than newcomer Durant to unseat Stabenow, who Hoekstra has called “the most liberal Senator in America.”
A survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Hoekstra trailing Stabenow in a head-to-head race by a margin of 52 percent to 38 percent, while Durant lags behind Stabenow 51 percent to 34 percent.
A PPP survey in late July also showed Hoekstra with a 51 percent to 17 percent lead over Durant.
Another poll showed Hoekstra with a 67 percent favorable rating, and Durant with a 46 percent favorable mark.
Hoekstra has won the endorsement of former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who cites his “proven track record of conservative leadership,” and he has the backing of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Pete Hoekstra also deserves to receive the backing of voters in the GOP primary, and in the general election against Stabenow.
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