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. Arlene Kilroy

    Best wishes, Jay. You're absolutely correct of course, but that is hard to sell in today's atheistic/politically "correct" environment.

    September 14, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. VGal

    When he says "I'm voting not to raise YOUR taxes..." what he really means is "I am voting not to raise MY taxes" since he is probably one of the FEW in Michigan that makes over $250k a year!!! Way to protect your own assets. What has this guy done anyway besides play an aggressive, abusive sport?

    September 14, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. EBC

    Is this a JOKE? I mean who is the fool?

    If this wasn't so completely stupid I would be laughing, but this proves just "clueless" this guy is. I bet there are those out there who will VOTE for this clown. Well, if you vote for George W. Bush, why wouldn't this foolishiness be any different.

    September 14, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Republican For Health Care Reform

    Super Caucasian guy hates taxes, runs on a Republican revival evangelism ticket...never heard of that.

    This guy should be the the most unique idea since the birth of politics.

    Yawn.

    September 14, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. J.

    Please another one that will go to War because it's the will of GOD?
    We already have Sarah Palin for that, Do you really need another one?

    September 14, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Diesel

    I have to wonder how many time this guy got Knocked in the Head Does he think with all the football plays he knows he can help manage our Great Country. I bet the Southern Rednecks will make him thier new God ...I mean Gop Rep

    September 14, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. yuri

    Strong man for senate or state rep. should send a significant signal to all the weirdos and weaklings who wreck the congress, a lot of times.

    September 14, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. hobart

    Sorry, Jay, but most of the people who voted for Obama are Christians. You don't get to decide for others what it mean to be a Christian.

    September 14, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    I hope he has the same success as the last football player to run for Congress as a Republican – Lynn Swann. Swann got smoked.

    He claims to never vote to raise your taxes, but he'll vote for wars and other hand-out programs for the friends of the GOP which eventually will have to be paid for by having the Democrats raise taxes, which he of course can claim he didn't vote for.

    September 14, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Alan Smith

    Bible-thumpers have ruined the party of Lincoln.

    September 14, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Michael - Portage, Mi

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

    =========

    Good idea........which means I would never vote for the likes of this guy.

    September 14, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Christian Values

    well, that would be different for the republicans. It's what they have always said, but facts indicate that republicans have raised taxes more then any democrat ever has. Kind of like that family values platform.

    Republicans are all talk but no action. Just ask Ensign and Sanford.

    September 14, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Susan

    That's what all the Republicans say before they give away our money for wars and tax cuts that affect the big earners who don't need it, creating deficits that have to be painfully fixed by Democrats. He may believe in God, but so does Palin. What does that prove?

    September 14, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Carl

    This guy uses the Bible to get votes. Democrats use disadvantaged people to get votes.... different parties and groups of voters, same ignorant result for people being a sucker...

    September 14, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Pat in Lancaster

    Biblical Principles? In the health care debate where is the Republican principle of Love thy neighbor as thyself. If they believed in that they would make sure health care was a must for all and a right not privilege. Or do they just pick and choose for the rich?

    September 14, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Kevin, Austin TX

    And which biblical principle should we stick to Mr. Riermsma? Thou Shalt Not Kill? Guess that leaves us very few choices.

    September 14, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. hadelaide

    Promising to not raise taxes. How in the hell are you going to pay for things in the state? Aren't people tired of these types of lies and subterfuge?

    Another hack seeking the limelight.

    September 14, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Great. The last thing we need is religion in government. "How could Christians vote for Obama?" Like ANY of our politicians would be recommended by God. Obama has championed the needs of the poor for many years. Just because he doesn't think government should be involved with Abortions doesn't make him a non Christian. Maybe you should look at your republican party and it's COMPLETE FAILURE to address the needs of the poor, even though it shows up COUNTLESS times in the new testament.

    September 14, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Rich in Az

    Heath Shuler and now Jay Riemersma. Nine more to go and then we can look for cheerleaders.

    September 14, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. I can see Canada from my house!

    I live in western NY, and I don't recall this mook ever doing a great job on the field in Buffalo or distinguishing himself off of it. It should be amusing to see how much fodder he will supply the press with during his run. Can't wait to follow this one.

    September 14, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Bigskyman

    wow, such an open mind that obviously could bring new ideas/solutions to the table. give me a break, must of hit his head once too often to think on his own.

    September 14, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. Al from SoCal

    I don't know if the highly competitive hard-hitting NFL experience is enough to prepare him for the lie to your face politics of Barack Obama and the Democrats. I truly do wish Jay Riemersma well and good luck.

    September 14, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Canaman

    Another Republican Bible-thumping hateful hypocrite is running for office. How many cheerleaders have you made your prey, Pastor??

    September 14, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Tom C in NY

    We already have Michelle Bachman and Mike Pence to represent the Christian lunatic fringe. We don't need this guy, as well. Sorry to see someone in a Pitt Steelers uniform spouting this sort of nonsense.

    September 14, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. Marc

    OK...
    It's just me or this guy is kinda... scary?
    You want to appease to the more religious portion of the society?
    No problem.
    You want to appease to the most religious portion of the society as if its the embodyment of a Moral Keeper or a Righteous Way – which by implication means that those who aren't member of it are not so 'Good'?- ?
    BIG PROBLEM.

    September 14, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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