(CNN) – Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra is launching a bid for governor, the Republican congressman announced Monday morning on a local radio show.
Hoekstra, 55, is seeking to succeed current Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat who is barred from running again because of term limits.
Speaking on WJR-AM's Paul Smith Show, the seven-term representative said he will file former paperwork later Monday afternoon.
The state went heavily Democratic in the 2008 presidential election, though Granholm's popularity has taken a hit amid the faltering auto industry and a surging unemployment rate.
Speaking about a potential gubernatorial bid Friday, Hoekstra said he hopes the Democratic candidates, namely Lt. Gov. John Cherry, run on the same policies as Granholm.
"I hope that John Cherry and the Democrats run on Jennifer Granholm's record," Hoekstra said. "The slogan's very simple on the other side: if nothing changes, nothing changes."
Early polling shows Hoekstra towards the top of the Republican field. L. Brooks Patterson, a local county executive, is on top with 22 percent, and Hoekstra comes in second with 15 percent, according to a recent Inside Michigan Politics poll. The poll was conducted from March 4-10 with 600 registered voters in Michigan and had a sampling error of plus or minus 5.7 percentage points