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Pete Hoekstra will not challenge Stabenow in 2012

Former U.S. Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-Holland) told supporters Friday that he will not seek the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing).

In a statement released by Hoekstra, he said the decision was “extremely difficult” and that ultimately the decision was made not to seek the office because it was not in his family’s interest to do so. While he won’t be running, he did lay out a clear message to GOP faithful about the importance of the 2012 Senate election:

We share the beliefs of many people across Michigan that we need new conservative representation in the U.S. Senate. With the continued economic uncertainty, frustrating high unemployment, and staggering deficits resulting from the economic policies of President Obama and Senator Stabenow, America needs a new direction. Additionally, the President’s and Senator’s incoherent foreign policy throughout the Middle East and in the War on Terror continues to put our nation at great risk.

It is time for change. We are excited by the agenda of fiscal restraint and economic freedom that is gaining a foothold in Washington and recognize that it needs to be broadened and extended in 2012. Electing a new senator from Michigan is a key component of that agenda. While we have decided as a family to not enter this race, we are confident that the Republican candidate for Senate can win in November 2012.

He says he will remain “integral” in the process of challenging Stabenow.

Hoekstra retired from Congress last year in order to seek the GOP nomination for governor. He lost that primary. Hoekstra was the ranking member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence and came under fire for a series of gaffes, including tweeting his location during Congressional trip to Iraq and using an attempted terrorist bombing over Detroit as a fundraising gimmick. His relationship with the shadowy group “The Family,” also became an issue during the gubernatorial race.

Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is considering a run against Stabenow, while Randy Heckman, a former judge and founder of the conservative Michigan Family Forum, has announced he will seek the nomination to challenge Stabenow.

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