September 14th, 2009
07:26 PM ET
5 years ago

Former NFL player to run for Congress

Former professional football player Jay Riemersma announced Monday that he is running for Congress in Michigan in 2010.
Former professional football player Jay Riemersma announced Monday that he is running for Congress in Michigan in 2010.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former professional football player Jay Riemersma announced Monday that he is running for Congress in Michigan in 2010.

The GOP candidate is running for the seat being vacated by Rep. Peter Hoekstra, a Republican vying to become the next governor of Michigan. Riemersma set up an exploratory committee in June, but made it official on Monday with a speech in Holland, Michigan.

Comparing Congress to the National Football League, the former Buffalo Bills tight end promised to "never vote to raise your taxes."

"I'm announcing my candidacy today because we need a Republican renaissance – a return to our conservative principles of governance – and I'm ready to help lead this movement," Riemersma said, in remarks released by his campaign.


Since retiring from professional sports, Riemersma has been working for the conservative Family Research Council and coaching high school football. In November 2008, he penned a letter to the editor in the Holland Sentinal entitled "How could Christians vote for Obama?"

In the article, he said that "faith should permeate every aspect of our lives" and said any Christian who chose to support Barack Obama's presidential bid did so "from a lack of understanding."

"Too many Christians shroud their God-given light with misguided intentions and uninformed choices," Riemersma wrote. "Moving forward to the next election, I implore all Christians to base their vote not on a political party or a polished politician, but rather on Biblical principle."

Riemersma already has other opponents in the Republican primary - state Rep. Bill Huizenga announced last December that he is running, and state Sen. Wayne Kuipers is reportedly considering a bid.


Filed under: Extra • Peter Hoekstra • Popular Posts
soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. Check Yourself

    I'm telling y'all...There's going to be a MAJOR UPHEAVAL next year!!!

    September 14, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Will-South Dakota

    Good Grief-a GOP clone.

    September 14, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Kevin in Ohio

    He is just what we need..... someone who believes in God rather than the Almighty Obama.

    September 14, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. jenn

    Republicans don't know anything about conservative principles of governance. Republicans–including Reagan–have presided over the biggest expansions of the federal government in US history. And that's not even counting their desire to micromanage your personal life, sexuality, and religious freedom. The GOP is Opposite World.

    September 14, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Reagan was wrong

    Amazing how the same people who denounced Obama for being a celebrity are the same people embracing this lummox.

    September 14, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Hey Hey, Ho Ho, the G O P has Got To Go...

    Moving forward to the next election, I implore all Christians to base their vote not on a political party or a polished politician, but rather on Biblical principle.

    ________________________________________________________
    Yikes – this is what Michigan needs?

    So I guess he must be a supporter of universal health care then? I would expect Jesus to insure everyone...

    September 14, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jay Riemersma was a good blocking tight end. He will fit right in with the roadblocks the GOP is putting in front of our recovery effort. Too bad the only play call is, "Just say no, on one...break!"

    September 14, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Randolph Carter, I'm no economist, but....

    "I'm announcing my candidacy today because we need a Republican renaissance – a return to our conservative principles of governance – and I'm ready to help lead this movement," Riemersma said, in remarks released by his campaign.

    Because that worked so well the last time. Have a nice day!

    September 14, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Jay who?

    September 14, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. joejames

    I want to formally extend a challenge to Mr. Riemersma. I would love the privilege and opportunity to publicly debate him on his theology that under girds such clams that Christians should only vote for conservative politicians. Any time, any place. Mr. Riemersma may choose the venue and date at his own discretion. My name is Joe James. I am a lay Christian from Jonesboro, AR. He shouldn't have any trouble refuting my claims that he is entirely wrong – and my claims would be also based on theology. So, Mr. Riemersma, are you up to the challenge to debate your Christian brother on the theology of politics? Will he accept?

    September 14, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. KD in Houston

    He is going to lose. People are really tired of people dangling the "Christian carrot". Enough already.

    I wonder if he picks his doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc on Biblical principal or in other words those who put Christianity on their resumes to deter from the fact that they graduated 5th from the bottom of their med school, law school, business school classes.

    September 14, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. John W. Racine, WI

    Yes, well, GREAT!

    So you hade too many hits to the head... sorry.

    When you get around to it please tell me how you are going to continue to fund Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, all the wars we are currently involved in and the one's we will start, the CONTRACTORS [i.e. para-military] the VA, the CIA, which has an UNDISCLOSED and ever-growing budget, the Pentagon... you sort of get my drift?

    Did you just think by saying "Read my lips: No tax increases." that these and all other future expenses would be paid for by the Tooth Fairy?

    September 14, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. I can see Canada from my house!

    Guess he played too many scrimmages without his helmet. Plenty of Christians supported the president.

    September 14, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. john mckenney II

    sounds like another GOP racist,anytime you have to bring religion into your voting process thats extremely narrow minded.I,myself am a african american and a pastor's son and it wasn't an option who I was voting for,NOT because I'm black,because he's the BEST candidate,and to top that if anyone has ever throughly researched McCain he's NOT a fan of Christians,so PLEASE stop making offensive statements about the man and call a spade a spade and admit I'M prejudice or RACIST instead of using God and Church as reasons

    September 14, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Connie, Indiana

    He is a republican, not raising taxes on the wealthy is their mantra..but that remains to be seen.. return to conservatice principles and may I ask what is that..no health care reform, more taxes on the middle class, more free bees for the rich and corporations..tell me what are the "guiding" principles???

    September 14, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Bedtime for Obonzo

    That's my district. Run, Jay, run! Shouldn't be difficult - I don't think a Democrat has beld the seat since before the Civil War.

    September 14, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. Chris - Seattle

    The seperation of church and state obviously means nothing to this guy. I bet that voting for Bush was okay because he was an ex-alcoholic/coke head born again christian (BTW his ex- status wasn't from a teenage problem), I'm so sick of these christian right-wing nuts demonizing Obama because he's doing things this country has neglected doing for decades. And all because it spits in the face of free-markets ruling the world untethered, keeping the rich very rich and the poor even poorer.

    September 14, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    "the former Buffalo Bills tight end promised to 'never vote to raise your taxes."' " Wow what a ground breaking platform! The GOP will eat that up for sure – because they're stupid. Another in a long line of unqualified candidates from the GOP.

    September 14, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. Chris - Denver

    just what we need...another meat-head republican ex-jock.

    September 14, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. carlos, that one

    republicans running for gov and congress.....first it was the pitcher guy from boston......now a football player and then the has been congressman......soon joe the you know who will also announce, and not to be outdone, the "you lie" guy will annouce his candidacy to be the pig sty janitor........what crap!!!!!

    September 14, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. GOP candidate is running to Michigan

    no offense to mr. football player, but Michigan needs the best, they are having a whale of a financial crisis

    the seat that the previous GOPer had did not serve Michigan well

    hoping a democrat beat you badly, even though I am a steelers fan

    September 14, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. eolufemi

    How about someone start suggesting that we raise taxes so we can start paying down the debt. We've had two wars, reduction in corporate taxes, trillion dollar recovery acts. At one point we have to pay for all this stuff the government has done on our behalf. Raise taxes before its too late.

    September 14, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. matt

    Ah another overpaid, under educated republican...what a shock! Seeing as professional football is one of the most tax subsidized businesses out there I think we can have a lot of fun with another hypocritical christian.

    September 14, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. kim

    Great, another religious fanatic nut job to add to GOP's list of sociopaths.

    September 14, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. Nija

    This is above your league.

    September 14, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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