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. Frank


    September 14, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. Chris - Denver

    "Too many Christians shroud their God-given light with misguided intentions and uninformed choices,"

    Boy, I sure agree with that, but in the exact opposite way Mr. Riemersma probably intended.

    September 14, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. John Smith

    Claiming Christianity while voting against legislation that would help the poor is contradictory. Love your neighbor as yourself does not include voting tax breaks for the wealthy, focusing on profits, and condeming anything that might cost you something. Before making attributions of "misguided intentions and uninformed choices", Mr. Riemersma needs to revisit his own motives.

    September 14, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. Brad

    There's nothing wrong with the Bible or conservative principles. What the Republicans forgot is that neither the Bible or conservatism requires the oppression of the poor, unnecessary and illegal wars, paying for tax cuts and Medicare programs without paying for them and slanting the tax system to favor the rich. Obama in 2012!

    September 14, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. D. Tree

    The Republican party is shattered.... those on the right have embraced fringe movements like Teabaggers, and Birthers, and Tenthers.

    And the people who really know about the economy and who know how to balance a budget are – and always have been – Democrats.

    Take a look at the facts folks, our last three republican presidents have increased the deficit on their watch and the only president to bring it down was a Democrat (Bill Clinton, who Republicans love to hate).

    September 14, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. Dex Houston TX

    Electoral votes
    Obama: 364
    McCain: 162

    Popular vote
    Obama: 64,629,649
    McCain: 56,888,006

    When I look at these numbers and pecentages I have to ask WHY is there so much focus on the LOUD MOUTHS. I have yet to see change from the Republicans that I can trust or bleieve in. I am not a person who pickets or shouts at town hall meeting, but I willing to show support for President Obama and give him a fair chance to complete the job at hand. Republicans don't care about the American people or this country!

    September 14, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |

    so???? what is in it for me? Am I getting a Pay raise?
    Why is running for congress anyway? there are already so many of them in there doing NOTHIN

    - I approve of Obama and I AM Black ( so what??)

    September 14, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. AntiRush

    Yeah. Another religous fanatic who thinks that taxes and abortions are the only important issues in the world. Yeah. Yeah. Hoooooraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

    September 14, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. AJ

    More proof that ALL republicans are conmplete idiots!

    September 14, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    A Republican Renaissance? We're still recovering from their rule, not quite time for a renaissance yet!

    Another holier that thou Republican-soon we'll probably be hearing stories of frolicking in the old Buffalo Bills locker room.

    September 14, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. rednekhank

    Sounds like Jay was in too many scrimmages without his helmet.

    September 14, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Patriot

    Michigan needs all the help it can get. The liberals and unions have run the state into the ground! If Michigan does not wake up and turn the corner politically, then it deserves its misfortunes.

    September 14, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. gl, Pittsburgh

    Amazing how the same people who denounced Obama for being a celebrity are the same people embracing this lummox.


    September 14, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. independent

    There is no GOD. move on.

    September 14, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  15. gl, Pittsburgh

    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 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  16. Oh my!

    You people already believe in the gospel according to Obama. I guess this religion doesn't have room for anyone else?

    September 14, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. Donald in CA

    Just what we need, another republican politician. I have been watching pro-football for fifty years and never heard of Joe Who.

    September 14, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  18. B

    All that we need right now, more duffus Republicans......

    September 14, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Tom

    That's all the state of Michican needs is another Republican congressman. Good grief.

    September 14, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. S M R

    It's sad to know that we now have to deal with another RIGHT- WING LOON. 😦

    September 14, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  21. Jaison Biagini

    when did he play for pittsburgh?? i live in pittsburgh and don't remember him playing for any team other than buffalo.

    someone who believes in god?

    another moron drinking the religious kool-aid. religion was invented by the rich to keep the massive amount of poor people from uprising. i'd just as soon believe in ghosts or aliens, or spiderman as i would in god. try reading more than the bible you morons!! it's a work of fiction. study some science instead!! the stories in the bible have been proven untrue over and over.

    September 14, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. Denver Dem

    Lets put another know nothing Jock into politics. This moron doesn't even realize the People of Michigan are done w/ repugs after the way they desolated their beautiful state. Down w/ the GOP, only people they can run are gag tricks like Ex-Jocks, Huge booby Singers, and children of inherently wealthy.

    September 14, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. Andy

    Ahh...yes....all the lovely Elitist Liberal Rubbish bashing the Family values guy....yeah, why would we need family values in this country? Legalize Drugs, legalize violence, ban Christianity, Kiss Islam....what a steaming load of liberal manure attacking him. Here's an idea for the liberals.....go nail your "partners" , smoke some crap, bash the good people and talk about how great you are.....secular dung heap.....

    September 14, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. Doug Harrod

    Well, here we go again; if you are a Democrat you cannot possibly be a Christian doctrine! My suggestion for Jay is to read his Bible a little more, possibly beginning with the Beatitudes where Bill Bright's edition characterizes Jesus with gentleness, humility, mercy and peacemaking. Hmmmm! Maybe, a little time in the Old Testament would help Jay also. Such as, Isaiah Chapter 10: "What sorrow awaits those....who issue unjust laws, They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among My people".
    All kinds of real social justice stuff in Christianity if one wishes to reach beyond the end of one's nose.
    Keep reading Jay and expand your belief.

    September 14, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. m jeff

    Conservative values= Sin and cheat until you get caught.

    September 14, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
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