Hoogendyk to challenge UptonPublished 10:10pm Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Jack Hoogendyk gave U.S. Rep. Fred Upton a run for his money — despite a lack of money — in the 2010 primary for the 6th District Congressional seat.
After getting 43 percent of the vote in 2010, despite spending just $62,000 on his campaign in comparison to Upton’s $2 million,Hoogendyk has announced he will challenge the 13-term incumbent again this year.
The Kalamazoo County resident made his announcement at a press conference in Kalamazoo Tuesday.
Hoogendyk criticized Upton’s support of raising the national debt ceiling in a Tuesday press release.
“Members of congress and our congressman have spent and regulated us into economic bankruptcy and paralysis,” he said. “He has voted consistently for budgets that are out of balance and increasing the debt ceiling.”
The Hoogendyk campaign may get a boost from the Club for Growth Action, a conservative special interest group, which has launched two television ad campaigns against Upton and his voting record.
The group, which has labeled Upton “liberal” in its ads, hasn’t officially endorsed a candidate but reportedly met with Hoogendyk in November.
Upton’s camp responded to the ads in a statement earlier this month.
“DC liberal groups say Fred is too conservative and DC conservative groups say Fred is too liberal, and all are pouring in tens of thousands of dollars for ads that twist the truth,” said Meghan Kolassa, press secretary for Upton.
Hoogendyk, who calls himself a “true constitutional conservative,” represented the Michigan 61st District from 2003 to 2009 and currently is executive director for Citizen’s Alliance for Life & Liberty, a nonprofit political action group. He has strong ties with the Southwest Michigan Tea Party.
In response to Hoogendyk’s announcement, Upton released a statement.
“I have been fighting to create jobs, dismantle Obamacare and cut government waste that harms our Southwest Michigan economy,” Upton said. “We continue to pass legislation in the Energy Commerce Committee that I chair that focuses on reducing the deficit and removing job stifling regulations.”
Upton expressed some surprise that Hoogendyk decided to run again.
“Jack called me just before Labor Day and told me I was doing a good job and he wasn’t running against me,” he said. “My focus on job creation and commonsense reforms hasn’t changed, but apparently Jack’s view has.”
For more information on Hoogendyk, visit www.jackformichigan.com/.