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American Family Association-Michigan head wins state U.S. Senate straw poll

The head of the American Family Association, which bankrolled Bob Vander Plaats’ successful effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justice, won a straw poll conducted last week following a Michigan tea party-sponsored Senate debate forum.

According to numbers released by Gary Glenn’s campaign, he received 31.85 percent of the vote, compared to front runner and former Congressman Pete Hoekstra’s 23.39 percent and charter school advocate Clark Durant’s 18.07 percent. Northern Michigan resident Peter Konetchy scored a 9.35 percent, former juvenile court judge Randy Hekman got 9.94 percent, while 5.08 percent of those voting had no favorite. Scott Boman rounded out the field with 2.33 percent.

Polling has put Hoekstra at the head of the pack, and he has picked up serious endorsements, including that of Gov. Rick Snyder. Snyder and Hoekstra battled in the summer of 2010 for the GOP nomination for governor, with Snyder winning the primary. That made Hoekstra a target during the forum, with Glenn hitting the nine-term Congressman hard out of the gate, while Durant tempered his criticisms of Hoekstra, but still slammed him for voting to bail out Wall Street.

Glenn released the following statement about the win:

“When Tea Party and other grassroots activists learn that Pete Hoekstra voted for the $850 billion Wall Street bailout, to raise the debt ceiling to $11 trillion, for earmarks like the $223 million Bridge to Nowhere, for the Brady Bill gun control law, and that his campaigns have been funded by Jimmy Hoffa and Pete has long opposed state and national Right to Work laws, they want an alternative,” Glenn said. “My mission and message of bringing more freedom, more fiscal responsibility, and more jobs to Michigan and America is making a powerful connection.”

The candidates are expected to appear at additional tea party forums across the state in coming months.

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