September 14th, 2009
07:26 PM ET
9 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. ThinkAgain

    Jay Riemersma is totally unqualified for any elected office, because he doesn't understand our Constitutional government.

    You see, Jay, we have this pesky little thing called the First Amendment which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    That's the Separation of Church and State. Your faith may guide your life, but in the United States, we do not make laws based on "Biblical principle."


    September 14, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. Say Hey

    Well, if this knucklehead thinks the electorate should vote on Christian principles, then he can sit down and try to rediscover his brains. The voters did vote on a platform of generosity and compassion - which, last I heard, were Christian principles - last November, and a truer Christian, at least in spirit, than George W. Bush, is now in the White House.

    Or is it a Christian's job to make up lies to take his country to war against a sovereign state that is no threat to his, and while doing so be directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent victims while severely debilitating his own country economically and spiritually? If that's the new Christian ethos, I must have missed the memo from God.

    September 14, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    For those who think all our country needs to do is "return" to "Biblical principles" in our government:

    We are NOT a "Christian nation." The founders and framers of our Constitution were of a variety of faiths, not necessarily Christian (Ben Franklin called himself a "Deist").

    They understood the necessity of the Separation of Church and State, which is why the First Amendment (not the second, or the third, or the fourth ...) explicitly prohibits the government from establishing a state religion.

    Why? Because by guaranteeing the government cannot dictate an individual's faith, it guarantees we are all free to believe as we choose.

    If it's good enough for the founders, it's good enough for me!

    September 14, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. Idiot_Pelosi

    Hmmm, a good republican, one who is fisically conservative; i.e., doesn't want to spend more than the GOVT takes in.

    You get some blue dog democrats and some fiscally conservative republicans, and you'll fix all this crap.

    The only people who should be allowed to vote are those who pay taxes.

    September 14, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Just to get this straight, Jay says people should vote based on "Biblical principles."

    And which ones are those? Last time I looked, Jews, Catholics, and all the Protestant denominations interpret the Bible differently. Plus there's the born-again crowd with all their churches, the Pentacosts, the Evangelicals, etc., etc.

    So whose interpretation of these "principles" is he promoting? Exactly who is the "in" crowd? And what about the rest – what happens to them?

    No, thanks!

    September 14, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  6. unshrub

    The only thing a republican can talk about is not raising taxes. The schools can close, the hospitals can close, the roads can fall apart, bridges collapse, and our prisons can overflow and the only thing the new breed of republicans can promise is not raise taxes.

    September 14, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  7. Jack Phoenix, AZ

    The Liberals will keep MI the way it is Unemployed and on welfare.

    September 14, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. Don

    A return to conservative values??? Ooookkkay what just happened in the last two decades plus?? did you people not get ENOUGH.

    September 14, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    Just the guy they need if a fist-fight breaks out! 🙂

    September 14, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Angi's Mom

    Another posterboy of GOP leadership... Can you see Wash DC from your front porch?

    September 14, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. cspurgeon

    He must be one of the fat cat Bush tax cuts????

    September 14, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    And, BTW... "...I implore all Christians to base their vote not on a political party or a polished politician, but rather on Biblical principle."

    Is this guy kidding??!! Vote based on a 2000-year-old collection of myth, folk-lore, and superstition? Come on, get real!

    September 14, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. BoBo

    Hey if a "Community Organizer" can run for and win the presidency, what's wrong with this guy running?

    September 14, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. cspurgeon

    Why does this fool think he has the right to tell everyone else what to do. I am religious and consider Jesus Christ my savior but that is my belief and certainly not that of my neighbors. i have no interest or right in telling others how to live their lives and this guy is just another Wacko on the right....

    September 14, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. DE

    Do christians realize that as a pious Jew Jesus would consider the teachings of christianity as blasphemous? Jesus was not a chrisitan. He would want nothing to do with christians. And since Jesus was a Jew, it stands to reason that your god is a Jew. And christians hate Jews because they think they killed Jesus. So if you hate Jews, you hate your god.

    September 14, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. JSL

    They don't know how to govern. But they have top-notch entertainment on their side of the ailse..

    September 14, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  17. David

    How many concussions has this guy had? Many, I bet...

    September 14, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  18. Jason

    Why is it that everyone always says they will never vote to increase taxes?? And then we believe them!! News flash people taxes will go up just like everything else in this country. If you think ANY Politician is going to stop taxes from going up from time to time you need to pull your head out of the sand.

    September 14, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  19. nicolas

    Sad I have to live in this fool's district. Just when I started to get excited because Hoekstra would finally be gone, we get another nut job sure to fill in his shoes.

    JoeJames, yes I'm sure mister Van Vanvandervan will accept your challenge right after he reads your post!

    September 14, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. Big Blue Patriot

    "Count me all in for a Republican reanaissance [sic]."

    Like lemmings to the sea (filled with offshore oil rigs) and pigs to the slaughter the "birth-baggers" go trying to drag us with them.

    September 14, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. LOL

    LOL, I stole Jay's helmet when he was a senior visiting OSU. I broke into the visitors locker room and got his, wheatley's, toomer's, and collin's. What a loser!

    September 14, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  22. John F.

    He's rich, he's about brains over brawn, and he already talks like a GOP robot. Sounds like Representative Riemersma to me!

    September 14, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  23. szaggy

    It feels great to be a conservative now. Anytime you see so much hatred for someone (in all these posts) you know the tide is turning. I have to laugh – the democracts, the party that cares about all people are always so critical and vicious when they attack others. Keep it up I am feeling better everyday about 2010. Just watch...

    September 14, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  24. Bush Victim

    He's been playing football without a helmet too long.

    September 14, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  25. Cole

    It's no wonder that Americans are the laughing stock of the world. How does tackling bodies and carrying a football prepare one for governor? Maybe he should try being a municipal councilor or something small scale first. It's a sad state that all you need to be elected is be rich and famous.

    September 14, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
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