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Name recognition factor in a Hoekstra for governor run

Poll buoys Michigan U.S. Rep.

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DETROIT, Michigan - Buoyed by strong support in West Michigan, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Holland, Michigan), who earlier announced he will not seek another term in the U.S. House of Representatives, has jumped into the Republican race for governor in Michigan.

With a catch phrase of "Michigan's Future Begins with Us," Hoekstra kicked off his campaign for governor in Detroit. "We need to begin the process of rebuilding a strong Michigan," said Hoekstra, 55. "We will create new opportunities to not only keep our family members, friends, neighbors and our great businesses here at home in Michigan, but attract new companies and residents to our great state."

A statewide poll of likely Republican voters had found Hoekstra tied with Detroit-area based Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson at 20 percent. Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox followed with 16 percent and Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land at 12 percent.

But Groningen-born Hoekstra dominates among West Michigan voters, with 47 percent of those polled who say they support or lean toward him. Cox and Land had 14 percent each and Patterson 2 percent. Cox already had declared his candidacy sometime ago.

The poll found Hoekstra with just 6 percent backing from metropolitan Detroit among likely primary voters. Patterson stood at 45 percent, Cox 15 percent and Land 10 percent.

Hoekstra, 55, with nine terms in Congress, has made his name in foreign affairs and security issues as a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Ann Arbor resident and venture capitalist Rick Snyder also may consider running for his party's nomination for governor of Michigan.

Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land also has Dutch roots. Hoekstra immigrated with his family at a young age. Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick De Vos, who lost the election in 2006, does not plan to run again. Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, can not run again because of term limits.