Glenn 45 percent, Durant 33 percent, others in single digits
RICHLAND, Mich. — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gary Glenn, Midland, Saturday night won his second Tea Party debate straw poll following a debate between five GOP Senate candidates in Richland sponsored by the Plainwell Patriots Tea Party organization.
Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, won 45 percent of the vote to Detroit charter school founder Clark Durant’s 33 percent, with former Kent County Judge Randy Hekman, small business owner Peter Konetchy, and Wayne State University professor Scottie Boman finishing in single digits. Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra, who did not participate, won less than one percent of the vote. (See official results: http://plainwellpatriots.com )
“Tea Party and other conservative grassroots activists will play a determining role in choosing the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate,” Glenn said. “Twice now, when they’ve had a full-length opportunity to judge the candidates’ views and our ability to debate and communicate them, they’ve concluded I can mount the strongest challenge to the liberal incumbent, Debbie Stabenow. That’s both humbling and encouraging.”
Saturday evening’s debate took place at Gracesprings Bible Church with 300 people in attendance. Glenn won even stronger support in a separate straw poll of students at the event who are not old enough to vote in next year’s election, winning 68 percent to Hekman’s 23 percent and Durant’s nine percent. No other candidate won student votes.
Hoekstra has not attended a multi-candidate debate since participating in and losing a straw poll vote to Glenn last month following a similar Tea Party-sponsored event attended by 500 people in DeWitt. After that debate, Glenn won 32 percent of the vote to Hoekstra’s 23 percent, with Durant at 18 percent, and the same three remaining candidates finishing in single digits.
Glenn said during both debates that Tea Party activists will refuse to support Hoekstra’s candidacy after learning of the former nine-term congressman’s support for the $850 billion Wall Street bailout, raising the debt ceiling to $11 trillion, earmarks such as the $223 million “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska, and the Brady Bill gun control law, plus Hoekstra’s long history of being endorsed and funded by Jimmy Hoffa and other Teamsters union officials and thus opposing state and national Right to Work laws and cosponsoring a federal mandate that would have forced all state and local governments to unionize their fire fighters, police officers, and paramedics.
“No Republican who does not have the enthusiastic, passionate support of Tea Party and other conservative activists — who do the grassroots work of personally contacting, persuading, and turning out voters — can beat Debbie Stabenow, no matter how much money he raises,” Glenn said. “We have to have a nominee who can win the support of both regular Republicans and conservative Tea Party and other grassroots activists.”
In addition to winning the two Tea Party debate straw polls held thus far, Glenn received another boost when his candidacy was endorsed last week by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Fox News television host and 2008 Republican presidential candidate. (See HuckPAC statement HERE )