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Hoogendyk challenges Upton…again

Jack Hoogendyk holds up his pocket-sized constitution, which he vows to uphold. His wife Erin is at his side at the event in Kalamazoo Tuesday.
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Jack Hoogendyk holds up his pocket-sized constitution, which he vows to uphold. His wife Erin is at his side at the event in Kalamazoo Tuesday.

Updated 5:09p.m.

Cong. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) made the following statement in response to this afternoon’s announcement: “I have been fighting to create jobs, dismantle Obamacare, and cut government waste that harms our Southwest Michigan economy.  We continue to pass legislation in the Energy and Commerce Committee that I chair and again on the House floor that focuses on reducing the deficit and removing job-stifling regulations.  In fact, Jack Hoogendyk called me just before Labor Day and told me I was doing a good job and he wasn’t running against me.  He told that to several other community leaders as well.  My focus on job creation and commonsense reforms hasn't changed, but apparently Jack's view has.”


West Michigan conservative Jack Hoogendyk announced Tuesday he’ll run again against Cong. Fred Upton in the 6th district Republican primary.

Hoogendyk challenged Upton in the 2010 Republican primary but he lost. Hogendyk also ran unsuccessfully to become the Republican nominee for governor in 2006 and he ran against U.S. Senator Carl Levin in 2008.

But Hoogendyk says this time around he’s getting in the race earlier and has a lot more support. He says conservatives have lost confidence in Upton. “I believe we’re going to get some serious funding from some conservative groups out of Washington,” Hoogendyk told reporters after his announcement.  “If that all comes to fruition there’s going to be an upset in the making,” Hoodgendyk said.

Hoogendyk describes himself as self-employed. He’s the Executive Director of the non-profit Citizen’s Alliance for Life and Liberty. He says the group’s mission is “to uphold and defend the God given right to life, liberty and property.” He says he’s not a lobbyist, but does work with lawmakers at the state level.

Hoogendyk held up a compact florescent light bulb at a gathering in front of his supporters in Kalamazoo as an example of ‘big government’.

“Do we really need the government to tell us what kind of light bulb to use?” Hoogendyk asked. About two dozen supporter responded in unison; “no!” Hoogendyk went on, “Do we need the government to tell us how much water to use when we flush the toilet? This is the kind of thing where I think it’s time to say ‘let’s return this government and this country back to the people and let them make the individual decisions.”

Hoogendyk says he’s already raised $30,000; half of what he rose in 2010. He admits funding will be his biggest challenge.  

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.