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AP Sources: Hoekstra to run for Mich. Senate seat
AP Sources: Former GOP US Rep. Pete Hoekstra to run for Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow's seat
By The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) ' Former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra plans to run for the seat held by Democratic Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, The Associated Press has learned.

Two Republicans with knowledge of his decision say the Holland Republican has changed his mind about staying out of the race and plans an announcement soon. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been made public.

Three Republican candidates already are in the Senate race and several more are considering getting in. None is considered a strong opponent to Stabenow, who already has $4 million on hand for her run for a third six-year term.

Money could be an issue for Hoekstra, who had trouble raising funds last year during the five-way contest for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Hoekstra ended coming in second to Rick Snyder, in part because his opponents were on the air with ads that he could barely afford to respond to.

Hoekstra's decision is a reversal from just a few months ago, when he publicly declined to enter the race against Stabenow. National Republicans had been growing frustrated that they couldn't recruit a candidate to take on Stabenow ' who they believe will be vulnerable in 2012 because of the sluggish economy ' and were pleasantly surprised that Hoekstra reconsidered a bid.

Hoekstra, 57, finished his 18th year in Congress in December and two months later became a senior adviser at Dickstein Shapiro LLP, a law and lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.

The Democratic Senatorial Committee jabbed at that record Tuesday, referring to Hoekstra as "Mr. Revolving Door . . . a congressman turned Washington lobbyist who has stood up for taxpayer-funded bonuses for bailed-out CEOs, tax giveaways for oil companies, and Republican efforts to privatize Medicare."

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