Stabenow, Camp continue run in U.S. Congress

MICHIGAN – Democrat Debbie Stabenow has claimed another six years representing Michigan in the U.S. Senate with her victory over Republican Pete Hoekstra.

“I’m ready to get back to work bringing together Republicans and Democrats to get things done,” Stabenow said in a statement Tuesday. “To have a middle class, to create jobs here, we need to do what we do best – make things and grow things.”

With results from 72 percent of Michigan’s precincts, Stabenow carried 58 percent of votes to Hoektra’s 38 percent.

This will be Stabenow’s third term in the Senate. She was the first female Senator to represent Michigan, initially elected in 2000.

Pam Fleming, chair of the Mecosta County Democratic Party, is encouraged by Stabenow’s victory, noting that members from both parties support her.

“The people we called, even if they voted for Mitt Romney, they still supported Debbie,” Fleming said. “Democrat or Republican, they all support Debbie. She’s the head of the agricultural committee, and she's going to support our agricultural needs.”

After encouraging Hoekstra to run for U.S. Senate, Mecosta County GOP chair Brian Thiede said he was disappointed with Hoekstra’s loss, although not surprised.

“Frankly, (Michigan) has not elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate in more than 30 years,” he said. “(Hoekstra) not only had to overcome an incumbent, but he did not have the resources to do so.”

Stabenow raised $14 million for her campaign to Hoekstra’s $5.3 million.

“Although we were not successful today, we must not let up as the challenges that face Michigan families remain real,” Hoekstra said in a statement. “America needs real solutions to get people working and ensure the next generation has better opportunities than this generation.”

Stabenow is the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, a member of the Senate Energy, Finance and Budget committees, co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus and has served on the President’s Export Council with George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Republican Dave Camp also will continue his political career representing Michigan’s 4th District in U.S. Congress. Camp defeated political newcomer Democrat Debra Wirth, with 65 percent of votes to Wirth’s 32 percent, as of midnight Wednesday when 59 percent of precincts in Michigan’s 4th District had reported results.

“The decisions we make now can either set the right climate for the job creation we need in Michigan, or cripple the private sector,” Camp told mLive . “As your Congressman, I will remain focused on giving families and small businesses the economic certainty they need to plan for the future, because Washington D.C. should not be a roadblock to our recovery or your success.”

Camp, who has served in the House since 1991, is head of the Committee on Ways and Means, which oversees tax policy, tariff and trade laws, Medicare, Social Security and welfare and unemployment programs.