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Michigan - 2nd District

Incumbent -- Peter Hoekstra (R) ; Defeated by Rick Snyder, R, in gubernatorial primary on August 3, 2010

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key
 

Updated Oct. 14, 2010

Former state Rep. Bill Huizenga, a former Hoekstra district director, was the surprise winner in the Republican primary to replace Hoekstra. He defeated former Pittsburgh Steeler Jay Riemersma by fewer than 700 votes.

Huizenga served in the state House from 2003 to 2008, and he touted his conservative record.

Lawsuits over potential Federal Election Commission violations marred the last couple weeks of the primary campaign for Riemersma. Huizenga sued Riemersma for allegedly coordinating with a political action committee run by his campaign consultants, and businessman Bill Cooper filed a suit against Riemersma's campaign for spreading false information about him while campaigning door to door.

Huizenga faces Democrat Fred Johnson, the 2008 nominee, in the general election. Johnson got 35 percent of the vote in that race and is unlikely to do much better this cycle.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Stretching 160 miles along Lake Michigan on the western edge of the state's Lower Peninsula, the 2nd is full of cherry trees, asparagus farms and sandy beaches that fill up every summer with vacationers hoping for at least one completely sunny day.

Most of the 2nd's land north of Muskegon, the district's largest city, consists of sparsely populated, smaller rural communities. Those small towns, once magnets for outdoor enthusiasts, are struggling as high unemployment rates and energy costs keep many would-be tourists at home.

Manufacturing, mostly based in the district's south, has replaced traditional logging jobs. South of Muskegon, a transition in the auto industry may lead to jobs making parts for hybrid cars. The southern part of the district still hosts several of the nation's top office furniture makers.

The 2nd has a large concentration of Dutch-Americans, and Holland is a conservative Dutch-settled port town that relies on tourism. Early 20th-century lifestyle is recreated in the Dutch Village Theme Park, and Holland's annual May tulip festival draws hundreds of thousands of visitors.

The 2nd is still one of Michigan's most Republican districts. Republican presidential candidates have won their highest percentages statewide in the district in the last two elections: George W. Bush won 60 percent in 2004 and John McCain took 51 percent here in 2008.

Major Industry

Furniture, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing

Cities

Muskegon, 38,401; Holland, 33,051; Norton Shores, 23,994

Notable

Grand Haven, known as Coast Guard City USA, honors the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard during its annual festival.

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