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. Edwin

    The GOP needs some new blood - badly. But I suspect that a candidate who votes exclusively from "Biblical principle" is not it. Also, I wonder what principle he feels makes Obama the wrong choice for president...

    September 14, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. a 25 year old independent

    he's a bible banger and said he don't want to raise taxes, good luck to you because thats not gonna be enough to get you elected sir, oh and what politician ever says they want to raise taxes?

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

    another one who claims that God has told him to be a politician and to save the evil sinners in his party.......pathetic

    September 14, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Joe the Troll

    Misguided intentions and uninformed choices are what defines Christian Republicans.

    September 14, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. matt

    This guy is a religious nut! I would tell him to read two books written by leading Biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman. One is called, Misquoting Jesus and the other is Jesus Interrupted. It will give him a clearer mind on who actually wrote the bible and the problems with it. Its a great read and the author is one of if the the foremost authority on the bible in the world!

    September 14, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Franky

    I will admit and confess that if I find a leader like that, I will consider it but for the mean time, no one seems to man up and show their hand.

    I believe in God and there are Atheists out there, I ain't gonna criticize them or question them, this is America and you are entitled to what you believe...whatever that is.

    September 14, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Connie, Indiana

    He is basically calling anyone who voted for Obama stupid. My guess he wanted that nit-wit Palin as VP and McCain as president, who by the way kept his mouth shut as Palin was stating Obama paling around with terrorist...THis is what he wants for us..didn't we just have a bible thumping president and look where that got us...and a waar-mongering VP..No you fool the people who voted for Obama voted for change, the one thing that has been evident that the several months is the republicans are not for change...I guess if you made millions off of football you really don't know how the rest of us have suffered. You sir know nothing more than what you have been fed .

    September 14, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Enough

    Another fundamentalist from "The Family" Research Council. Give me a break.

    Our country has seen enough of those so-called principles from C-Street and other attempts to turn our American democracy into theocracy. Thanks, but no thanks.

    September 14, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. Yolanda

    another whack job

    September 14, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Fool me once shame on u, fool me twice... err...

    Here comes another hypocrite. I guess they are born every second, just like suckers!

    September 14, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Ken

    Good grief! Another birth-bagger comes out of the closet. I'm sure god is thinking the same thing I am at this moment: Jay-who?!

    September 14, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. kevintexas

    That is all we need, another dumb jock running as a republican. Haven't we had enough? I left the republican party because I'm fed up with what has become of the party. People like this guy are not helping. I registered for the first time as a Democrat and I don't think I will ever go back.

    September 14, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Eric of Reseda

    Islamo-fascist, Christiano-fascist...what's the dif? TRUE Christians should support universal health care, as do TRUE Christians in Canada, Great Britain, France and elswhere. TRUE Christians should be devout environmentalists, seeing how pollution defiles God's green earth. TRUE Christians should be vehemently anti-war and not support the grossly misguided war efforts of the Evangelical George W. Bush. This guy is NOT a TRUE Christian. He's just another part-time Christian brainwashed by the extreme political Right. Furthermore, if these "Christians" want to turn this country into Iran, with Christian Imams running the show, they'll have one hell of a fight on their hand, and they WILL lose. Americans will not put up with a theocracy.

    September 14, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. S Callahan

    Lots of bright minds come out of this state... be ready for them, and good luck.

    September 14, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Darth Vadik, CA

    A republican renaissance?

    We already have a renaissance, it's called "the progressives."

    September 14, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Steelers Fan

    Does a good Christian take money without earning it? Riemersma collected $4 million from the Steelers for two years' work and for all that money, he caught a total of 10 passes.

    A promise not to raise taxes (especially his) is nice. But to us Steelers fans, we just wish he would keep what he thinks 10 pass catches are worth in today's football market and send the rest of the money back to Pittsburgh.

    Any Christian who keeps the money suffers from a lack of understanding.

    September 14, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Jeff in Houston

    [groan] Not another one. It's 2009 and we keep producing these people. Would you do everyone a favor and PLEASE evolve?

    September 14, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Steve

    It doesn't sound like he knows that Obama is a Christian himself.

    September 14, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Chris

    If he was the Christian he claimed to be he'd return the money he took from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jay, you sound like your talent for general thought is even less than your talent as a tight end. I didn't think that possible.

    September 14, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. alpha_nu_916

    scary dude. another athelete with little or no knowledge of the constitution trying his hardest to breakdown the wall separating church & state. move to vatican city, dude.

    September 14, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. RKV

    What's he doing in a Steelers jersey? I'm a Steelers fan and I never heard of him. But, I have a soft spot for Republican and Steelers great Lynn Swann. I cooked chicken wings for him and Mike Webster one night when working in a restaurant in Pittsburgh back in 1985.

    But, as a progressive I wouldn't have voted for Lynn when he ran for governor of Pennsylvana. But, I don't live there anyway so I didn't vote for his opponent either. Ha.

    September 14, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Torin for Lawrenceville Ga

    According to this article, Jay Riemersma, Republican candidate for Congress said "faith should permeate every aspect of our lives" and "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 sounds like a clone of Michelle Bachmann.
    Did he hear a voice from G-d to run for Congress also?

    September 14, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. susanj

    Another religious fanatic. I want no one pushing their religion on me.

    Quote: 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."

    That's scary stuff. If these kind of nutjobs keep coming out of the woodwork, this country is doomed.

    September 14, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. Patrick Fields

    Im a diehard Bills fan, and I can say he was inept as a Tight End, so Congress seems to be the perfect place for him

    September 14, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Enlightened Voter

    Oh Lord, just what this country doesn't need, another republican.

    September 14, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11