September 14th, 2009
07:26 PM ET
13 years ago

Former NFL player to run for Congress

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. DShirley

    It amazes me how some athletes who spend their time making 8 times the average American wage could have the audacity to talk about cutting taxes and "good governance"!! Just what planet is he on!!

    Don't know what or where this guy has been, but since he is from Holland, MI....that says it all!! Hey Jay, you ever been "unemployed"!!

    How could Christians vote for Obama?? What a nut job!!

    (Born and raised in the Tri-County area-south east Michigan)

    September 14, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  2. alicia

    Maybe he can teach them some manners. Like how to behave like men instead preschoolers with no teacher.

    September 14, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  3. BillD

    Great, another Republican meat-head in congress. What qualifies him to be a congressman? Maybe the fact he's not Joe Wilson and not from South Carolina.


    September 14, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  4. Curt

    BRILLIANT!!! Glad to have a real person running for something in this country!!! Not just a SOCIAL WORKER who can read telepromters well!!!

    2010 – you liberals are going to wish you had never knew the word – OBAMA. He's going to help the republicans take back over BOTH the house and senate!!! That must have been the change that he saw coming!!!

    September 14, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  5. Mike Ross

    Pete Hoekstra would be a disaster for Michigan. The district he represents in NO WAY at all represents the majority of the state, especially the cities.

    September 14, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  6. Wake Up

    Does every partisan person have to jump on and call him names ...without even know anything about him? Why are you so beholden of your poltical parites? They do NOTHING for you. Wise up.

    September 14, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  7. voter

    It is sad that he is a republican who played for the steelers. Gosh I can't believe that. Steelers organization has more sense than this.

    September 14, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  8. Michael

    Here's a dude who made a good living and was able to bank some of the HUGE dollars that pros make. He now has his nestegg set.
    He did this playing a GAME. Now he wants to play another GAME, a game that will offer NO brotherhood for his fellow mankind, just a game by which he can DEFEND the wealthy people who watch and help his nestegg grow. Time to sit the bench dude!

    September 14, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  9. Ron

    Oh great, another RR neo-con. Just what the country needs.
    Does this man not read the news? You would think that after the large victory the Democratic Party had, this last election, one would think the GOP might consider a few things but apparently not.

    September 14, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  10. Chad

    Why are you people so hateful towards this man? He just announced his candacy and you close-minded lefties are labelling him racist, typical republican, bla bla bla. Get out of your partison political bubble. I swear some of you need some counseling.

    September 14, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  11. seabee

    oh my gosh, an acknowledged christian who lies; what would Jesus say? CB

    September 14, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  12. Curt

    If the idiots in Virginia or wherever that was can sit in the room playing SOLITAIRE and OTHER COMPUTER GAMES – then this would be 10 steps up electing someone who actually worked for a living.

    And for the person who said that Jesus said that we are MORALLY obligated to help the poor – that is TRUE. You just don't get it – Marxism and Communism REQUIRED PEOPLE TO HELP THE POOR. That isn't even close to the same thing and the U.S.A. does more to HELP THE POOR than any other country on this planet – and by volunteering – NOT by FORCE!!! Liberals just don't understand that scripture at ALL.

    September 14, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  13. Mark

    Another "celebrity" with no experience in public service running for public office. If all he has to say is not to raise taxes – then how about taking away his Medicare and Social Security when he gets older... oh, I forgot, these "rich" athletes don't have to worry about things like this when they get older because they are shamelessly rich... why should they care about the rest of us who work just as hard as they do to get ahead...

    September 14, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  14. TCM values, that's out of line...he should be supporting an unscrupulous inner citty group of minorities who embezzle funds...lie, steal, and know, the way Obama got into office. Anything good, wholesome, and American, liberals cannot stand, and they strive for the immoral filth they strive for....

    face it libs, your clowns are one are done, and it starts in less than 1 yr.....liberals have shown their total incompetence and their hatred towards this nation...but true Americans have rose up...

    September 14, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  15. TCM

    Why are liberals so afraid of God? Because they know they're doing wrong....

    September 14, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  16. Tom

    A Liberal's biggest fear? The facts.

    September 14, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  17. Lauren

    If he wins I hope he has a mind of his own and does not follow rush limbaugh and glen beck. Can we please have at least one republican with some morals, integrity, or personal pride.

    September 14, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  18. Di

    Americans needs a NEW PARTY that will work for US! Both the GOP and DEM have turned their backs on US. They can not hear US!

    September 14, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  19. Mike G., Chicago

    It doesn't take an Athiest to hate republicans. I'm originally from MI, not an Athiest, and I do hate republicans.

    See? That was easy!

    Oh – and for the record-Granholm didn't ruin your state. Engler did. Nobody could put THAT Humpty Dumpty back together again-not that quickly.

    September 14, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  20. Di

    He does not have a chance! The media will crush him before the season. To them he's a crazy right wing Christian.Wake up America!

    September 14, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
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