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Welcome to Michigan Radio’s coverage page for the 2012 Election.If you’re looking for more information to help with your decisions, you can read our collection of stories about key races featured below.You can also check out our Guide to the Ballot Proposals.

A conversation with Pete Hoekstra on "their" decision to run

Pete Hoekstra and his wife Erin at the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival when he ran for governor in 2010. He lost the Republican nomination to Governor Rick Snyder.

Former U.S. Congressman Pete Hoekstra says he and his family are prepared to challenge Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2012.

“We get a new majority in place in the US Senate we can start changing and reversing those policies. And that’s what I want to be a part of.”

After 18 years in Congress, Hoekstra retired from his rather secure seat representing a conservative district along the Lake Michigan shore. He had hopes of become Michigan’s new Governor. But he placed second in the Republican primary behind current Governor Rick Snyder.

Last spring he said he and his wife just weren’t ready to run another statewide campaign.

“I fully expected by this summer this opportunity wouldn’t be here anymore so we never looked back.”

Hoekstra says he changed his mind after people in Michigan and Washington DC pressured him to reconsider his decision. He’s been working as a consultant for a DC law firm and a private venture, Hoekstra Global Enterprises.

There are other Republicans running, but none of them have nearly as much political or fundraising experience as Hoekstra. He was once chair of the House Intelligence Committee. He co-founded the House’s Tea Party Caucus with Presidential hopeful Michelle Bachman.

Hoekstra hopes to help push the democrat-led Senate into more conservative hands.

“They created an environment that has thrown a wet blanket over this economy. Its’ stifled economy growth and economy opportunity it has stifled job creation. That’s why we have a persistently high unemployment rate. That has to change.”

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Enterprise Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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