Kalamazoo resident facing off against 12-term UptonPublished 11:17pm Wednesday, May 12, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
It’s official. For the first time in eight years, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, will face competition in the GOP primary election.
Jack Hoogendyk, a former state representative from Kalamazoo, will challenge Upton for his seat that he has held for 12 straight terms in the Aug. 3 primary.
Hoogendyk, who has strong support from local Tea Party members for his conservative views, was first elected to the state house in 2002, representing the 61st district until 2008. He was named the “most conservative” lawmaker in Michigan twice.
In 2008, he lost to Carl Levin for a U.S. senate seat.
Upton has been close to a sure thing in Michigan in the past several elections. He has served the 6th District since 1986 and has easily defeated Democratic candidates in general elections, although his margin of victory has declined in recent years since 1998 when he won with 70 percent of the vote.
Don Cooney, a Democrat from Kalamazoo who lost to Upton two years ago in the general election, will face the Upton-Hoogendyk winner in November.