Many of Michigan's tea party activists are trying to rally behind one of at least eight Republicans running for the chance to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
Gary Glenn of the American Family Association won a "straw poll" Saturday from representatives of more than 40 tea party groups joining under the name Michigan 4 Conservative Senate. The group wants to avoid dispersing clout in a field crowded with conservatives.
Glenn issued a statement after the straw poll:
“I am humbled and highly motivated by the confidence that the TEA Party activists represented here have in my faithfulness to Constitutional principles and my ability to effectively communicate them,” Glenn said. “I share the TEA Party movement’s commitment to having an authentic conservative nominee and for defeating one of the most liberal Senators in America.”
The Republican winner of the August primary will face Stabenow in November.
Former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra is considered the frontrunner in the Republican field, but not the favorite of some tea party groups.
Hoekstra finished in the top three of Saturday's poll but wasn't in the final round. That was whittled down to Glenn and Clark Durant.
Durant issued a statement after the final winner was announced:
“It is commendable that MI4CS sought to create a voice for one candidate; but ultimately, Tea Party activists across the state have decided to support all of the candidates in different ways," Durant's statement read.