Former opponents unite behind Hoekstra after primary win

Former opponents unite behind Hoekstra after primary win

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Pete Hoekstra with three of his former opponents  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Pete Hoekstra with three of his former opponents (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

On the campaign trail, the trio of Republicans battled each other tooth and nail, but that was then and now is now.  There was a strong show of unity Wednesday as Pete Hoekstra's opponents, one by one, shook hands with the winner, pledging to work with him for the next 90 days.

Hoekstra even got a hug from his staunchest opponent Clark Durant as all of them are united trying to unseat the Democratic incumbent, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow.  She's got a lot of cash, strong name identification and is favored at this early read to win.

Hoekstra's assignment now is to broaden his base of support from just Republicans to include independents and even some conservative Democrats if he wants another victory party in November.

Former GOP Senate candidate Gary Glenn claims that Hoekstra on the marriage issue and other issues is in step with mainstream union voters.

"He's going to do very well.  Let them come.  If the union vote shows up, let them come.  On things like what the definition of marriage is, Pete Hoekstra will beat Debbie Stabenow like a drum."

Hoekstra wants to talk about jobs and wants to link Stabenow to the president.  He did not want to talk about eliminating federal aid for Planned Parenthood.

"We're not going to get into those specifics at this point in time," he said.

The state Democratic Party chair was content to eat the Republican bagels, but he was not buying Hoekstra's evasive answer.

"It's no surprise that he would equivocate an issue like that because his Republican base would not be happy if he says, yes, I support Planned Parenthood," Mark Brewer said.

So the race is on.  Can Hoekstra win?  Of course.  Will he?  Quite another question.

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