News & Election Videos

December 15, 2008

Hoekstra not running for re-election in 2010

From the Detroit Free Press:

Rep. Pete Hoekstra will not run for re-election in 2010, clearing the way for a possible gubernatorial bid, the Holland Republican will announce today.

Hoekstra will decide sometime in the first quarter of 2009 whether to run for governor, he told The Detroit News. His decision will likely set off a scramble, especially among Republicans, for a seat that has been one of the nation's safest for the GOP.

Hoekstra has for months been seen as a potential candidate for governor. Other Republicans who may run include Attorney General Mike Cox and Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

Hoekstra, 53, will begin his ninth term in Congress next month. His position as top Republican and former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has made him one of the party's most important voices on intelligence matters. Under Republican rules, he'll have to give up the top GOP spot on the panel when he completes his next term.

Hoekstra said he has held meetings with Republicans across the state, laying the groundwork for a bid for governor. Although he has not decided to run, he said he believes his business experience, including 15 years at furniture maker Herman Miller Inc. before coming to Congress, makes him especially well-equipped to lead a state that almost certainly will be in dire economic straits when the next governor takes office.

The seat could become a Democratic target in 2010: While President Bush handily carried western Michigan's Second District with 60 percent of the vote in 2004, John McCain won just 51 percent of the districtwide vote this year.