Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 24, 2012

Hoekstra says Romney will help with an upset


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---- — TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — Two weeks before the election, Republican Pete Hoekstra said Tuesday he's counting on a strong showing by presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Michigan to help him upset Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Polls consistently have shown Obama ahead in the state he carried four years ago — and Stabenow has even bigger leads. But Hoekstra, who released a new television ad Tuesday linking Stabenow to Obama, said Romney, a Michigan native, is gathering momentum in his home state.

"Mitt's clearly pulling us along with him as he's overtaking the president here in Michigan," the former congressman from Holland said in a phone call with reporters.

The new 30-second ad blames policies put forth by Obama and Stabenow for problems such as high gas prices, unemployment and the national debt.

"Hoekstra can spend his time standing up for Mitt Romney," Stabenow spokesman Cullen Schwarz said. "Debbie is standing up for Michigan families."

Meanwhile, a separate super PAC called the Hardworking Americans Committee began running a commercial accusing Stabenow of failing to pay property taxes on her Washington, D.C., home.

Stu Sandler, a Republican consultant from Ann Arbor, said he was a member of the group, which is spending at least $1 million on the ad.

Hoekstra said he wasn't involved with the organization, but said the ad showed that Stabenow is "more than willing to raise taxes on the American people but is not paying the taxes she is responsible for."