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. be reasonable

    The fact is that this guy is going to run in Holland, MI. This is the northern bible-belt. He is speaking to his constituancy. This is the type of thing they love. This is what makes this country great! All walks of life represented in our Congress.

    September 14, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. larry

    I am tired of people saying that Jesus would be a socialist. Socialism takes and gives to the poor (and a lot of people in between), Jesus says that love for him moves people to give. Look at the tax returns of our president and vice president. Obviously they want it taken away rather than to give willingly.

    September 14, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  3. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    It is a shame, in Michigan (the model of efficiency in state goverment, bought and paid for by the unions) the unions and ACORN will run this guy out of the state, its the liberal way of politics now that the thugs from Chicago have shown the way.

    September 14, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. jules sand-perkins

    Betcha this Bible-thumper is not a Marxist!

    September 14, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. annie s

    Here we go again – another so called Christian trying to tell the rest of us how to live. Sorry, Jay – and all the rest of the Republicans claiming to vote the Bible – but the Jesus I know rejected greed and money gathering, He was non judgmental and tolerant, He fed the poor and asked us to be our brother's keepers. Let's face it, He was a liberal – and Barack Obama is exactly the kind of man He would have wanted to lead this country.

    September 14, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Bob Pacific Grove, Ca

    Riesmersma......Just another "family values" republican.......Do they EVER say anything intelligent?????

    September 14, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Mari

    Just what we need another dumb, everything was handed to me on a silver spoon, jock in Congress.

    September 14, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. Reggie

    Super cool. I'm from Michigan. I moved away because Gov Granholm ruined the state. Hopefully, Rep Hoekstra beats her. I cannot understand how the people of Michigan keep reelecting her. I guess, they deserve the worst unemployment rate in the country.

    September 14, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. Stu

    Why not, if we can have comedians (Franken), actors (Fred Grandy, Ronald Reagan), etc? Anything has got to be better than a tort attorney!

    September 14, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. stevetall

    A dorky jock-dude AND a religious nut-job in one. Just what the Republicans are looking for... Someone who can make Sarah Palin look less kooky!

    Back to the locker room, coach. You're out of your league and out of your mind.

    September 14, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. Maria in Florida

    Another self righteous Christian? Just what this country DOES NOT need!

    September 14, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Huh

    Where is the tolerance?

    September 14, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. Ron

    Sounds like he is just an another Republican. He talks to what he thinks the voters want to hear. Why doesn't he talk more positive and state what he will do about the unempolyment and take care of the U.A,W. workers in his home state. That will be a big change with the Republican Party, quit saying no to everything thinking that will get them re-elected

    September 14, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Karen - Missouri

    It amazes me that the so-called GOP "religious" folks are such hypocrites! They lie, deceive, lack respect, whine and criticize instead of doing actual work...they're not christian...just Sunday one-day-a-week church-goers. Real Christians follow Christ and his teachings...and it's disgusting that Republicans are USING religion to pretend they're God's gift to the U.S.

    GOP has done NOTHING since January! And they don't intend to...all they know is how to rig elections. There's gonna be major upheaval next year alright...ALL DEMOCRATS voted in since Republicans don't know how to work...just how to take our tax dollars to waste time whining!

    September 14, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. ipubbhhh

    This will just give the media more ammo to use to criticize the Republicans, not help their image.

    September 14, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "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."

    Sounds like he took one to many bonks on the noggin. Are we sure he wore his helmet every play?

    September 14, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  17. ipubbhhh

    You know this guy is a hypocrite. Most of those that are 'holier than thou' are...

    September 14, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Carl from MI

    He said, "I'm announcing my candidacy today because we need a Republican renaissance – a return to our conservative principles of governance."

    What's he's saying is that Republicans have all gone WAYYYYY out in left field and are no longer mainstream. Also, that Republicans have abandoned their conservative principles of governance.

    What's left for the current Republicans in office... corruption? Pandering? Erosion of their 'Family Values'?

    This is the reason why once again, Republicans are going to get blown out in the next election too... their Culture of Corruption lives on!! Viva la Bush!!! Viva la Cheney!!! Viva la Palin!!! Viva la Idiots!!!

    September 14, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Johnny DC

    Hysterical how many of you feel the GOP is the only party of "celebrities". From Clinton playing sax on Arsenio Hall to all of the political speeches by Oscar winners, and the GOP is the party mesmerized by glitz and glimmer?

    Get a life.

    September 14, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. JonDie

    Just what Congress needs, another dolt who thinks the sports has something to do with real life.

    September 14, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. JW Morrison

    If many of these comments against this guy are from Michigan, then Michigan wants to continue on the decayed path they are on. Unions are trying to destroy this country, not the membership, but the leaders are no better than big government.

    September 14, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. Jillie

    Just another Republican Bozo who thinks he's the next American royalty. Nitwit!

    September 14, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. Ryan

    Laughable, just laughable.

    September 14, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  24. Allie

    Surely this doesn't surprise anyone...typical Republican who thinks he's the next GOP "rising star". lol lol lol lol lol lol lol

    September 14, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. Patrick Lewis

    That bit about Christians voting for the bible is just retarded. Hope he wins the primary only to be exposed as a wingnut in the general election.

    September 14, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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