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Welcome to Michigan Radio’s coverage page for the 2012 Election.If you’re looking for more information to help with your decisions, you can read our collection of stories about key races featured below.You can also check out our Guide to the Ballot Proposals.

First republican announces candidacy against U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow

Hekman hopes to replace sitting U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in the U.S. Capitol building in 2012.
Jonathon Colman
Creative Commons
Hekman hopes to replace sitting U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in the U.S. Capitol building in 2012.

A former Kent County judge is the first republican to declare he’s running against U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in the 2012 election.

Randy Hekman has a number of titles. He’s pastor of Crossroads Bible Church in Grand Rapids, CEO of  research consulting firm Hekman Industries. He directed and helped start the Michigan Family Forum; a conservative non-profit group that tries to influence state policy. He served in the Navy, is an attorney and sat on the bench in Kent County probate court for 15 years.

Hekman is hosting events in Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids Monday to launch his campaign. He declined to speak with reporters before those events.

In a written statement Hekman outlines his platform as job creation, budget and entitlement reform, and energy innovation.

He says it’s critical the size of government be drastically reduced. He says “the resulting human needs” should be addressed “with significant growth in the non-profit sector.”

“Unless we do so, the nation we love is heading to oblivion," said Hekman, "I believe I'm the person who can help bring healing to our hurting nation."

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.