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Clark Durant picks up steam ahead of Michigan GOP Senate primary
Human Events ^ | 8/6/12 | John Gizzi

Posted on 08/06/2012 5:48:53 AM PDT by cotton1706

With little time to go before Michigan’s Republican U.S. Senate primary Tuesday, signs are mounting that Clark Durant — former Reagan administration official and lifelong movement conservative — may overtake the longtime front-runner in the polls, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra.

Should Durant win the primary to oppose Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow will be “Step Four” in a string of pitched battles in GOP Senate contests won by tea party-backed conservatives against establishment candidates. In Indiana, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock defeated longtime Sen. Dick Lugar for renomination and in Nebraska, State Sen. Deb Fischer emerged atop two better-known officials. Most recently, Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz rolled up 57 percent of the vote to win the Senate nod over establishment-backed Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst.

Like Cruz, Michigan’s Durant has trailed in polls throughout the race, but is coming on very strong in the finish.

A week ago, Hoekstra appeared coasting toward the nomination. At the time, the EPIC-MRA poll showed the former nine-term House Member and second-place finisher in the 2010 gubernatorial primary leading Durant among likely primary voters statewide by a margin of 51 to 27 percent. The remaining contender, retired jurist Randy Hekman, trailed at 4 percent.

A just-completed poll for Channel 2 in Detroit by the Foster McCollum White firm of Troy, Mich. showed Hoekstra with a 39.76 to 23.5 percent lead over Durant, with 15.31 percent selecting another candidate and 24.04 percent undecided.

“With candidate and leading Tea Party advocate Gary Glenn throwing his support to Durant and late spendingby a pro Durant Super PAC,” concluded FMW, “this race should go down to the wire.” In addition, Durant’s support from 41 tea party groups throughout the state has provided legions of eager volunteers to turn out likely voters — critical in what is likely to be a very low turnout in Michigan’s grueling August heat. Days ago, the Tea Party Express roared into the Water Wonderland for a mass rally on Durant’s behalf.

Hoekstra still strong

Hoekstra sports a 91.35 percent rating from the American Conservative Union, and has been endorsed by well-known conservatives as Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). However, Durant’s hard-charging campaign points out things in the former congressman’s record that are upsetting to many GOP primary voters.

“He voted for the Wall Street bailouts in (September) ’08 — something I would not have done,” Durant told Human Events between campaign stops on Friday, “and he clearly made a deal with (Teamsters Union President Jimmy) Hoffa to slow down all the major free trade agreements — CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Accord), for example — and not even support the ‘fast track’ procedure.” Although Durant himself rarely mentions it, other supporters point out that after leaving Congress, Hoekstra worked as a lobbyist in Washington — not exactly a complimentary description of someone to “tea partiers.”

Grosse Pointe (Mich.) lawyer Durant, however, is not “of the tea party” but someone who truly grew up in the postwar conservative movement. The son of the late conservative leader Dick Durant — who fought the state GOP’s moderate establishment in the 1950s and ‘60s — Clark Durant knew William F. Buckley, Jr., Barry Goldwater, and other conservative icons since childhood. As head of the Legal Services Corporation under Ronald Reagan, he repeatedly fought to scale down the size and excesses of the legal-aid colossus. Numerous contemporary conservative leaders have weighed in for Durant in the 2012 primary, among them Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Tom Coburn (Okla.), and Rand Paul (Ky.), and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes, who also came to Michigan to speak on Durant’s behalf.

Working in Hoekstra’s favor is that the bulk of Republican votes in primaries historically come from his home turf in Western Michigan and that, for more than a half-century, GOP establishment-backed candidates have always won the Senate primaries over insurgents. In 1970, Lenore Romney (Mitt’s mother) edged out conservative State Sen. Bob Huber for the Senate nod and in 1990, Durant himself was beaten for nomination by then-Rep. (now State Attorney General) Bill Schuette. But as Ted Cruz, Richard Mourdock, and Deb Fischer have demonstrated, 2012 is a year when things that “always happened before” didn’t.

TOPICS: Government; Politics
KEYWORDS: durant; hoekstra; mi2012; teapteaparty
Go Durant!!
1 posted on 08/06/2012 5:49:08 AM PDT by cotton1706
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To: Springman; cyclotic; netmilsmom; RatsDawg; PGalt; FreedomHammer; queenkathy; madison10; ...
Hoekstra is acceptable but I'm voting for Durant.

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2 posted on 08/06/2012 5:51:46 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: cripplecreek

Durant sounds great!!!!

What day is the primary? Tuesday??

3 posted on 08/06/2012 6:16:22 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: cotton1706

I’d love to see Sen. Debbie Stabenow bite the dust.

4 posted on 08/06/2012 6:17:47 AM PDT by TribalPrincess2U (0bama's Welfare, Food Stamps, Division and Disability 'Legacy')
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To: ConservativeDude

Yeah the vote is tomorrow. I think Debbie Stupidcow is about to be put out to pasture.

5 posted on 08/06/2012 6:21:10 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: cotton1706
Paging Sarah Palin. Ms. Palin please pick up the courtesy phone.
6 posted on 08/06/2012 6:40:19 AM PDT by 70th Division (I love my country but fear my government!)
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To: cotton1706

I didn’t do a lot of independent research until recently and to me Durant talks very vaguely. At least from his website that is linked to the state sample ballot. He talks of a “need for tax reform” but does not define what reforms he would support. He talks “time to repeal Obamacare and have a responsible conversation about health care” which certainly COULD be interpreted as a repeal and replace preference.

After looking at all of the GOP primary candidates for the Senate race, I’d have to say that I changed my mind FROM Durant to Randy Hekmen.

7 posted on 08/06/2012 7:09:28 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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Watched all 3 of the candidates on Skubick’s Off The Record

All sounded like politics as usual, but would support any of them to get rid of Stabacow.

8 posted on 08/06/2012 8:24:26 AM PDT by RckyRaCoCo (I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery, IXNAY THE TSA!)
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To: cotton1706

FYI: Clark Durant’s uncle who happens to be the mayor of one of the Grosse Pointe communities is a dyed in the wool conservative and a fundraiser for Durant’s opponent Pete Hoekstra.

9 posted on 08/06/2012 8:49:49 AM PDT by Flight of the Phoenix
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To: cotton1706

I’m somewhat puzzled about the two criticisms of Hoekstra.

First that he supported the TARP bailout in 2008 under the W. Bush administration. While in retrospect it was a dumb idea, at the time it looked like the world financial system was about to collapse; which, if you think about it, would have been a bad thing.

Second, and this is a puzzler, that Hoekstra, worked “to slow down all the major free trade agreements — CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Accord), for example — and not even support the ‘fast track’ procedure.”

Um, why was that bad?

Truthfully, I am extremely dubious about “internationalism” in whatever guise, and whatever it is “promised” to do. I was and am strongly opposed to W. Bush’s embrace of the Plan Puebla Panama, the trans-Texas corridor, a North American Economic Union, and other truly awful and anti-American ideas like them.

The idea that such thing *need* to be ‘fast-tracked’ sounds waaay too much like Obamacare. Take your time, fellas.

When Marco Rubio recently embraced internationalism, as far as I’m concerned, he is right out. I don’t want *any* internationalists anywhere near our government. He may call himself a Tea Party candidate, but it’s sort of an exclusive club—no socialist-internationalists allowed. The “having two masters” thing.

So, if anyone knows, has Durant shown any other tendencies to internationalism or free trade? Americans have, in many ways, been totally screwed by these agreements, and I’m of mixed minds about anyone who still thinks they were great ideas.

10 posted on 08/06/2012 9:27:54 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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