heckman http://michiganradio.org en Republican challenger for Senator Stabenow's seat http://michiganradio.org/post/republican-challenger-senator-stabenows-seat <p>A former Grand Rapids judge is the first Republican to formally launch a campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat <a href="http://stabenow.senate.gov/">Debbie Stabenow</a>.</p><p>This opens the campaign for a Republican primary that&rsquo;s still more than a year away.</p><p>Former probate judge and conservative activist Randy Hekman is the first but by no means the last Republican to launch a primary campaign.</p><p>Big political names including former Congressman Pete Hoekstra, former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, and Republican National Committeeman Saul Anuzis are among those eyeing the race.</p><p>Hekman says he intends to run on reducing the national debt and getting more people to support hometown churches and charities.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;You&rsquo;ve got to change hearts of people because they&rsquo;re core of our problem &ndash; the problem beneath the problem is in my opinion this self-centeredness.&rdquo;</p><p>&quot;I believe that we need local charity. I believe, for example, if every man, woman, and child that has an income in our country could tithe 10 percent of their gross income, that would be one-point-four trillion dollars that could go to charity that could meet this need in a much more efficient and human-based and human-centered way than currently.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>The winner of the Republican primary in 17 months will face two-term incumbent Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow on the November 2012 ballot. Tue, 08 Mar 2011 00:30:57 +0000 Rick Pluta 1540 at http://michiganradio.org Republican challenger for Senator Stabenow's seat