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.


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soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. Aaron

    I think Mr. Riemersma should stick to catching a football instead of showing off his lack of critical thinking skills. I applaud his enthusiasm, but how could somebody invoke Christian principles in a plead to vote for John McCain over Obama? Barrack Obama dedicated his professional life to helping the poverty stricken Southside of Chicago and is married to his first wife. John McCain has been married multiple times, cheated on one wife, and couldn't recall how many houses he owned at one point during the campaign. Which man's behavior sounds more inspired by the teachings of Jesus? Obama's current goal is Health Care for every American Citizen, regardless of their economic straits. McCain would limit Health coverage to only those who could afford it on their own. Again, which sounds closer to the wishes of Christ? It just goes to prove something that Jesus said right after he rose from the dead: "Thy Republican's in the George Bush era are morons."

    September 14, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Liz HB

    "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."

    ....oh and that's why we "Christians who chose to support Barack Obama's presidential bid" should have supported McCain/Palin instead????? I DON'T THINK SO!!!!! Now, THAT would constitute being "misguided", idiot!

    September 14, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Darren

    Great, another Bible-thumping loony who use his own twisted interpretation of God's word to try multialte public policy.

    September 14, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    I hope Michigan voters recognize that just another Republican with the same old tired "no new taxes" message has very little to offer them. The guy can't even come up with an original platform!

    September 14, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. Randolph Carter, rammin' reform down yer throats

    If he's as good at winning elections as the Bills are at winning superbowls, we've got nothing to worry about. Have a nice day!

    September 14, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Polar Bears Against Palin

    What's this guy doing in a Steelers uniform? I'm a Steelers fan and I never heard of him.

    September 14, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Bipartisan

    Dear Mr. Riemersma , You're hate for President Obama and the hypocrisy of of invoking Christianity and your justification for that hatred will not win you the votes to get you elected to congress

    September 14, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Luke Brown

    Just what we need .... more boneheaded Republicans.

    September 14, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Kate in SW Fla

    Too many Christians believe they should foist their religious intolerance off on everyone else. If you want to spout Biblical Principles, become a minister and get a church. That way, you have religious freedom, an so do I. Leave the rest of us alone.

    September 14, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. gl, From Pittsburgh

    It is so funny how the Republicans ran ads after ads against President Obama about him being a celebrity with little experience, but they continue to support Sports celebrity with no experience to run for congress and government jobs. GOP have proved time after time they are HYPORCRITES.

    September 14, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. DonnaLee

    Great ... another concussed brain damaged Rethuglican. I'll bet his plan to to roll to the right – roll to the right – roll to the right. Repeat if necessary.

    September 14, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Mario, mtl, ca.

    No chance

    September 14, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. gl, From Pittsburgh

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

    -------------------------------
    There comes a time when taxes have to be raised and I don't know why the Republicans keep trying to campaign on tax cuts when it was Bush tax cuts the ran this country to the ground. Just another rich old white man looking out for the rich.

    It is so funny how the Republicans ran ads after ads against President Obama about him being a celebrity with little experience, but they continue to support Sports celebrity with no experience to run for congress and government jobs. GOP have proved time after time they are HYPORCRITES.

    September 14, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Joe in CA

    He'll make a good republican. Hit in the head way too many times to have any common sense.

    September 14, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Stu - Las Vegas

    Oh please! Another rich republican on a ego trip.

    September 14, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Bill Sampson

    Obviously there were too many bumps to this guy's head over the years. He is qualified how?

    Beware pious politicians. It's ALWAYS a scam.

    September 14, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. lucy from pa

    Oh goodie, another one just like all the other ones. And I used to be a Republican.

    September 14, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. dave

    Another Neanderthal. Only his religious perspectives matter. This is exactly the type of candidate the country does not need.

    September 14, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Bubba

    Another big bonehead for the Repubs. Wonder if he's got dain bramage?

    September 14, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. chelle

    Biblical principles huh? Which Bible? New testament or Old? Which book? Which language? The original Hebrew texts? The Greek? King James? What a canard....

    September 14, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. gl, From Pittsburgh

    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."
    -------------------------------
    Another christians nut trying to force Biblical principle down our throat.

    Let see if he have any marriage affairs hiden or his he from C-Street club.

    September 14, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. jerry

    Ahhh, just what we need: yet another crazy Repub with Christian cred. So good of him to let us all in on how wrong-headed any Christian who voted for Obama is. These guys sound more like political Islamists every day. Just with a different accent.

    September 14, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Jay who?

    September 14, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. Dave C - NJ

    Wow. Talk about a one-issue mentality. This "Christian" nonsense is simply a euphamism for anti-abortion.

    Oh wait...it's actually a two-issue mentality: "Me no raise taxes."

    September 14, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. gl, From Pittsburgh

    GOP THINK GOD DIED AND LEFT THEM IN CHARGE.

    Republcans talk about Freedom of speech, but want to force their christian believes on all Americans and judge them if they don't live by the bible. It is a choice if you want to live by the word of God, but the Repubicans don't want to give any body a choice becasue they BELIEVE GOD HAVE DIED AND LEFT THEM IN CHARGE.

    September 14, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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