LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Detroit charter school founder Clark Durant have turned in their signatures to compete for the chance to take on Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, but tea party favorite Gary Glenn was still scrambling Monday to make the Republican ballot.
More than 40 tea party groups in Michigan have endorsed Glenn, a Midland resident who is president of the American Family Association of Michigan and has led efforts to ban gay marriage in the state. The groups are trying to replicate the success of Indiana tea partiers, whose united support for state Treasurer Richard Mourdock helped him knock off longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in this month's GOP primary.
Although Glenn was confidently predicting he'd turn in the necessary signatures by the 4 p.m. Tuesday deadline, he also said supporters planned to "push hard" on Monday to get the job done.
Durant, meanwhile, turned in 24,274 signatures Monday to the state elections division after a dozen motorcyclists carried the petitions from Detroit to Lansing. In a nod to the movie starring actor James Dean, Durant said he used the motorcycle caravan to show he'd be "a rebel with a cause" to cut spending and the deficit in Washington.
"It's been a long journey here," he said of the push to collect signatures in all 83 counties, an effort undertaken by campaign staff and volunteers. Polls show the 63-year-old Grosse Pointe resident isn't nearly as well-known as Hoekstra to many Michigan voters, but Durant said the signature collection "was a wonderful way to get people to know about our campaign."
U.S. Senate candidates must turn in at least 15,000 and no more than 30,000 signatures to get on the Aug. 7 primary ballot. Candidates must submit the signatures of at least 100 registered voters from at least seven of Michigan's 14 congressional districts.
A spokesman for Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow said she planned to turn in her signatures later Monday.
Former Kent County Judge Randall Hekman said Monday that his campaign was going over its signatures and planned to turn them in Tuesday. It was unclear if several other potential GOP candidates would collect enough signatures to qualify for the primary election.
Hoekstra was the first to turn in his signatures, submitting more than 22,000 last month. He planned to submit more by Tuesday's deadline.
Hoekstra, Durant, Glenn and Hekman were joined by other candidates Scotty Bowman, Pete Konetchey and Chuck Marino a Monday night forum sponsored by the Lakeshore Republican Women in Grandville.
24 Hour News 8's Rick Albin was at that event. Watch his full report above.
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