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.

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soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. Yolo

    Wow! Sounds like this guys needs a reality check! Sounds like he values only one opinion....HIS OWN!! I don't know him but, from his comments, it doesn't sound like he would represent the opinions of others very well. His opinions are already made up based on "HIS" interpretation of the BIBLE.

    September 14, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Mississippi Mike

    The sad thing is that he's just as qualified as Obama. Not only that, he's had to manage a multimillion dollar budget, his own salary.

    September 14, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. stormerF

    He will be as Qualified as our President,at least he understands the plays.

    September 14, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Right-Wing Republicans are WRONG-THINKING Americans

    Has this nimrod never heard of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE??!!!

    September 14, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. NVa Native

    First I thought – great maybe some one of this time in history who could help take the GOP back to it's roots of principled direction, and away from radical religious and social ideology hell bent on distroying our government . But of course that is not to be, I read further and was saddened to read he is the same if not more of these self-righteous hypocrites who seem know very little of what Christ spoke of , but rather choose to follow narrow selfserving personal interpetations of the bible.
    More mindless followers running toward the abyss.

    September 14, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. Wes B.

    I DO base my vote on biblical principals. That's why I usually vote for Democrats. Thanks, Mr. Riemersma, for helping me reinforce my thoughts on this.

    September 14, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. victim of republican greed

    Joe "the liar" Wilson, move over. Here comes Jay Riemersma, another nut like you.

    September 14, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. a health economist

    A return to your conservative principles would be great. Please just bare in mind that the concept of "small government" when the country was founded doesn't quite directly equate to "small government' now. The whole addition of 37 states and an increase of roughly 300 million people make that difficult.

    September 14, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. G2

    Hope he wins....we need someone new who can help congress figure out how to balance a budget. We're getting fed up with these career mean career politicans....We need people who have had successful careers in a variety of fields to bring us new perspectives. We eulogize Sen Kennedy for 40 years of service when we really should have been asking why he never left the Senate to work at a private job to earn a living. We have to stop honoring career politicans!

    September 14, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. victim of republican greed

    Michigan has been beaten up so badly under the Bush years. They do not need a wingnut to take them back to the 1940's.

    September 14, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Grace

    I'm convinced the GOP has developed into a cult-like organization with all the right wing lunatic fringe minding the store. How sad for those of us moderate Republicans who thought the party was the right choice once upon a time.. like 47 years ago. Come November I will be a bonafide Independent.

    September 14, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |

    Thank God we have separation of church and state.

    September 14, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Wake Up

    new generation, which is needed. not brainwashed marxists that Obama wants. i'm sure he's a racist because he's running for congress and doesnt "pledge allegiance to obama".

    stop obama now

    September 14, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. Darth Vadik, CA

    How is it saying we urge all good Christians to vote like "good" Christians any different than saying we urge all Muslims to vote like "good" Muslims?

    This guy's IQ must be lower than Jeremy Shockey's, and that is though to beat.

    September 14, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. John from California

    Just what we need from the republicans first, actors, then professional wrestlers and now football players – all mental midgets full of greed that makes them a good match to be a republican.

    Sorry, we don't need anymore mentally challenged leaders we had enough with bush/cheney.

    September 14, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Kim in mpls

    Someone should tell him to google "what John McCain called his wife" and then we can talk about how saintly John is.

    September 14, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Dan, WA

    Go Jay.. Go all the way. You have our full support. Messiah is trying to cook radical things in White House and we have to throw him and democrats out from power. We need a real change.

    September 14, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Farrell in Houston

    We lost one brave football player who forfeited his career to serve in Iraq. Where was this guy?

    September 14, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. jules sand-perkins

    Why not a football player?
    A movie star became one of our very greatest presidents.
    Ah, to have Ronald Reagan back in that job now...

    September 14, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Fangbird

    What exactly are his qualifications? None. Just like all other Republicans.

    And where does he get off telling Christians how to vote? Who died and made him Pope?

    September 14, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. Moosehead

    I don't know what this guy's political background is, or what he majored in college,... but if you want to be a high powered politician, ...don't get in over your head,.. start at the bottom,.. like municipal, and work your way up. The good folks of Michigan would be making a big mistake in giving serious consideration to this greenhorn.

    September 14, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Christian?

    I do vote for biblical values. That is why I vote for the Democratic candidate. Any true Christian would.

    September 14, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Gary

    While we're trying to promote freedom rather than theocracy abroad, theocracy is taking strong root right here at home.

    September 14, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. kayward

    this is even worse than having a Canadian for a Gov., we need talent here in Michigan!!! where is it??? if this guy wins it would my district! We really don't need a male version of Sarah Palin running my district.
    Just my opinion but Pro athletes (and actors) should stay out of politics!!!!!

    September 14, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. Moderate Democrat

    Why not a football player?
    A movie star became our worst president ever. He had retarded policies of "trickle down poverty" and "keep rich people rich". Boy that sure worked (NOT).

    Here's a clue, the last good republican was Abraham Lincoln, and coincidentally, the last good idea from a republican was abolishing slavery. Odd how far off from Linconl the GOP migrated.

    September 14, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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