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Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra will not challenge Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in 2012, leaving Republicans with a major candidate void in a potentially competitive Senate race.
Hoekstra announced in an email to his supporters Friday that he had made a decision not to run for Senate, which would have been his second statewide bid for office in as many years after his failed 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
“After serious consideration and many discussions with friends and supporters, Diane and I have made the decision that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in 2012,” Hoekstra said. “This was an extremely difficult decision for us to make as we saw strong points both for and against running. However, in our final analysis, we agreed that it was not in the best interest of our family at this time to enter the race.”
Hoekstra was previously viewed as the most formidable Republican looking at running against Stabenow. National Republicans view the Senator as vulnerable.
At least two other Republicans are still openly considering bids: former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and former state GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis.
Roll Call Politics rates this race Leans Democratic.