The PJ Tatler

Veteran Congressmen Fend Off Challenges for GOP Senate Nods

A former congressman and a current congressmen won Republican primaries last night for the right to face Democratic Senate incumbents this fall.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who served 18 years in the House and was ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, will be the GOP nominee against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). He defeated Clark Durant, a charter schools CEO who was endorsed by the Tea Party Express, Mike Huckabee, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Hoekstra was endorsed by Gov. Rick Snyder (R).

Hoekstra handily defeated Durant 54 percent to 34 percent.

In Missouri, Rep. Todd Akin (R), who’s been in the House since 2001, got 36 percent of the vote to defeat businessman John Brunner, who got 30 percent of the vote, and Sarah Steelman, a former state treasurer, who came in third with 29 percent.

Sarah Palin endorsed Steelman, and pitched in with some aggressive campaigning including radio and TV ads along with appearing at campaign events. “The voters in Missouri are conservative like Texas, so I certainly hope it’s going to help,” Steelman, who also had the endorsement of the Tea Party Express, said a day after Ted Cruz’s victory in his Senate primary.

Akin, who had endorsements from Huckabee and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), will face Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in the fall.

Last night’s primaries also had face-offs between Democratic incumbents in redrawn districts. Rep. William Lacy Clay defeated Rep. Russ Carnahan in Missouri and Rep. Gary Peters bested Rep. Hansen Clarke in Michigan.