Michigan: State Legislators Look at Following Ehlers

Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:30pm

Two state Senators and a former state Representative said they were considering making a run for the seat being vacated by GOP Rep. Vernon Ehlers in the Republican stronghold of Grand Rapids.

“My wife and I are going to take a few days to carefully consider it and then we’ll make a decision,” state Sen. Bill Hardiman (R) said.

State Sen. Mark Jansen (R) said he plans to “do a little checking over the next week or so,” and former state Rep. Jerry Kooiman (R) said in an e-mail that he “will spend the next week or so in prayer, weighing the options, while seeking advice from my wife, trusted advisors and previous supporters.”

Attorney Jim Mitchell (R) said he’s been encouraged to run by “a great number of people.”

“At this point I need to take a look at some personal considerations,” he said.

Also being mentioned as possible Republican candidates: Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, state Rep. Dave Hildenbrand and former Kent County Commission Chairman Steve Heacock.

There are two announced GOP candidates: first-term state Rep. Justin Amash and activist Michael Van Kleeck.

Republicans are heavily favored to hold onto the seat, but the local Grand Rapids Press also listed a few potential Democratic names that could join the fray: former state Speaker Pro Tem Michael Sak, state Rep. Robert Dean and former state Rep. Steve Pestka.