Michigan Republicans on Mackinac Island, visits from Perry and Romney expected

Sep 23, 2011

Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Perry will be on Mackinac Island this weekend for a Republican conference held by the state party every two years. The two prominent presidential candidates will speak with party faithful tomorrow at the Grand Hotel.

Also on the island are many campaign signs, buttons and t-shirts advertising names of Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls. Among them is Gary Glenn, the president of the anti-gay-rights group American Families Association of Michigan. He says coming to Mackinac Island this weekend is important for his campaign.

"We’ve got a lot of Republicans in one place and it’s kind of like a cattle show in some ways so you got to show up and show your wares, tell them what you stand for, and hopefully come out with more support than when you show up," said Glenn. "It’d be bad if it turned out the other way."

Glenn is running in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate against former congressman Pete Hoekstra, businessman Peter Konetchy, former judge Randy Hekman, businessman Rick Wilson, and school choice advocate Clark Durant.

There are campaign signs in nearly every store window and front lawn, many of them bearing the names of former congressman Pete Hoekstra or school choice advocate Clark Durant.

Former National Republican Party Committeeman Saul Anuzis, who supports Durant says the race for the Republican Senate nomination is shaping up to be dominated by the two candidates. 

"Whether you like it or not, you have to have the money to compete statewide, so I think that will be the first test," said Anuzis. "Obviously name ID is important, but that can be bought, and obviously that grows through the campaign."

The winner of that primary will run against U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow next year.