Connections: Colorado’s Bob Schaffer Backs Pete Hoekstra for Michigan Guv

A connection of the state of nativity with my state of residence — the state where I cut my teeth on politics with the teeth the state where I’ve come more involved in politics than I ever imagined. Conservative leader Bob Schaffer, former Congressman and current chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education, publicly announced his endorsement in the Republican primary for Michigan’s gubernatorial race in an email sent today to supporters:

Please join me in supporting U. S. Congressman Pete Hoekstra in his campaign to become Governor of Michigan.

With all the attention being paid to campaigns here in Colorado, you’re surely wondering why I’d ask you to join Maureen and me by supporting a candidate in Michigan. The answer is pretty straightforward:

Pete Hoekstra is one of the finest leaders I’ve ever known.

I’ve served with thousands of elected officials. Only a precious few are true statesmen – vigilant, active, brave statesmen. Pete is one of those statesmen. Pete has the courage to put principle ahead of politics. He’s always guided by the Constitution and does what is right, honorable and decent without fail. [link added]

The Ukrainian immigrant’s son Schaffer and the Dutch-born Hoekstra served together in Congress from 1997 to 2002 — two of the more reliably gifted and conservative leaders during the Republican Party’s recent heyday in Congress.

Hoekstra, who represents a western Michigan district in Congress, is in a five-way GOP primary race for governor. Not surprisingly, polls indicate that beleaguered Michiganders tend to favor the idea of changing parties after eight years of Jennifer Granholm as the state’s chief executive.

Polls as recent as this week also show Hoekstra at the head of the five-way field, but with more than 40 percent of voters undecided. (Michiganders are less thrilled with their choices on the Democratic side.) I’ve followed the race a little bit from this safe distance away and have yet to reach an opinion about who would best represent the GOP in the fall election or who would best lead the state in 2011.

Bob Schaffer of course has far more sway with Republican primary voters in Colorado than in Michigan. But every little boost to fundraising can only be a boon to Hoekstra. And I’m glad to see the intersection of conservative politics between the two states that have had the most profound impact on me.

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