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Ex-GOP Rep. Hoekstra to run for Mich. Senate seat
Former GOP Rep. Pete Hoekstra says he'll try to unseat Mich. Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow
By The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) ' Former Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra (HOOK'-stra) is launching a campaign to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

The longtime congressman and conservative Republican issued a statement Wednesday saying he's setting up a campaign committee to challenge the two-term senator in 2012.

Three other Republicans are already running.

Hoekstra spent 18 years in Congress before losing a gubernatorial bid last year. He declined to get into the Senate race three months ago. But in the statement Hoekstra says he decided he can't "sit on the sidelines" while Democrats try to raise taxes to balance the federal budget.

Stabenow has $4 million on hand for her re-election campaign. She won 57 percent of the vote in 2006.

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