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Pete Hoekstra

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 2nd district
Assumed office 
January 3, 1993
Preceded by Carl Pursell

Born October 30, 1953 (1953-10-30) (age 56)
Groningen, Netherlands
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Diane M. Johnson
Children Erin Hoekstra, Allison Hoekstra, Bryan Hoekstra
Residence Holland, Michigan
Alma mater Hope College, University of Michigan
Occupation U.S. Congressman
Religion Reformed Church

Cornelius Peter "Pete" Hoekstra (born October 30, 1953) is a Dutch-born American politician and member of Congress from the U.S. state of Michigan. A Republican, Hoekstra has represented the Michigan's 2nd congressional district [1] since taking office in 1993 following his win in the 1992 election.

Born in Groningen, Netherlands, Hoekstra emigrated to Holland, Michigan, at the age of three with his family when his first name was dropped.[2] (Hoekstra's district has the largest concentration of Dutch Americans in the United States.) Hoekstra attended Hope College, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Business School in 1977.

Prior to running for Congress, Hoekstra worked for office furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, eventually rising to vice president for marketing. In 1992, he ran in the Republican primary for the 2nd District, which had been renumbered from the 9th district after the 1990 Census.


Political History

The district had been held for twenty six years by Guy Vander Jagt, longtime chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Hoekstra rode his bicycle across the district, charging that Vander Jagt had served in Congress for too long. He scored a monumental upset, winning by almost six percent. This primary win was tantamount to election in the 2nd district, the "most Republican" district in Michigan (Republicans have held the district for all but four years since it was created in 1873). (Hoekstra continues to ride his bicycle across the district every summer, and for his 2010 gubernatorial campaign will also be riding across the state.[3]

In 2004, Hoekstra did not meet his initial term limits pledge by announcing that he would run for a seventh term, citing his membership on the Select Committee on Intelligence. In 2006, Hoekstra's Leadership PAC (the Mileage Fund) raised nearly $160,000 in Policial Action Contributions from such diverse contributors as the Teamsters, Michigan Credit Union League, and Little Planet Books. [4]

Hoekstra faced no significant opposition in the Republican primary or in the general election (as in his previous five reelection campaigns) and went on to secure his seventh term. Shortly after the primary, he was named chairman of the committee, succeeding Porter Goss, who became Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Hoekstra has a conservative voting record, consistent with the conservative nature of the 2nd congressional district. However, he opposes amending the Constitution to prohibit flag desecration.

Hoekstra has announced his candidacy for the 2010 Michigan gubernatorial race.[5]

Committee assignments


Caucus memberships

  • Founding chairman of the Education Freedom Caucus
  • Founding chairman of the Congressional Caucus on the Netherlands

2006 election

Hoekstra had no primary opponent. In November he was opposed by the Democratic candidate Kimon Kotos [6], who was also his 2004 opponent. Hoekstra defeated Kotos 183,518 votes to 87,361 votes [7].

2008 election

Hoekstra ran for re-election in 2008 against Fred Johnson, Associate Professor of History at Hope College. He beat Johnson by 215,471 to 119,959 votes.

2010 Gubernatorial Race

In December 2008, Hoekstra said he would not seek re-election to his U.S. House seat in 2010, and instead campaign to be Michigan's governor. Hoekstra joins Mike Bouchard, the Oakland County Sheriff and former state senator, business person Rick Snyder, state Sen. Tom George and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox as 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidates.


Criticism of the Islamic Society of North America

Hoekstra may have angered some American Muslims when he and a fellow Republican sent an open letter to then Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales regarding the Islamic Society of North America as blogged about via the Washington Times: In a letter to then-Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Reps. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Sue Myrick, North Carolina Republican, called the Justice Department's involvement a "grave mistake."

"In light of the threat that our nation ... is currently facing from radical jihadists, and because of the president's commitment to fighting the war on terror on all fronts, we believe it is a grave mistake to provide legitimacy to an organization with extremist origins, leadership and a radical agenda," the lawmakers said.

The amendment, which was approved by a voice vote to a spending measure, states that "no funds appropriated under this act may be used to support a conference sponsored by any organization named as an unindicted co-conspirator by the government in any criminal prosecution." [8].

Weapons of mass destruction

On June 22, 2006, Hoekstra made headlines by announcing at a press conference in the Capitol that weapons of mass destruction had been located in Iraq in the form of 500 chemical weapons.[9]

A number of other media outlets disputed the claims made by Hoekstra and Rick Santorum regarding the existence of weapons of mass destruction, reporting that the claims were disputed by both Pentagon officials, the Duelfer Report, and the intelligence community.[10][11]

On November 3, 2006, The New York Times reported that a website created at the request of Hoekstra and Senator Pat Roberts was found to contain detailed information that could potentially be helpful to those seeking to produce nuclear weapons. The website was shut down on November 2 following questioning by The New York Times.[12]

As of September 17, 2007 some news outlets reported that the Congressional committee Hoekstra had overseen had created "erroneous" and "misleading" reports about Iran's nuclear capabilities. "Among the committee's assertions is that Iran is producing weapons-grade uranium at its facility in the town of Natanz. The IAEA called that "incorrect", noting that weapons-grade uranium is enriched to a level of 90 percent or more. Iran has enriched uranium to 3.5 percent under IAEA monitoring." [13][14]

Repatriation of Yemeni captives in Guantanamo

On December 27, 2009, Hoekstra commented on reports that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who had allegedly tried to set off a suicide bomb on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on December 25, 2009, had subsequently confessed to being trained and equipped in Yemen.[15][16] Hoekstra called for a halt to the repatriation of Yemeni captives in Guantanamo.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Teens, twentysomethings take citizenship oath - Holland, MI - The Holland Sentinel
  3. ^
  4. ^ Peter Hoekstra: Campaign Finance/Money - Summary - Congressman 2006 | OpenSecrets
  5. ^
  6. ^ Kotos for Congress, Michigan District 2
  7. ^ 2006 Official Michigan General Election Results - 2nd District Representative in Congress 2 Year Term (1) Position
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ - Rep. Pete Hoekstra Details His Breakthrough WMD Report - The Big Story w/ Gibson and Nauert
  10. ^ The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Report sparks debate over Iraq arsenal
  11. ^ Media Matters - Despite all evidence to the contrary, media conservatives continued to hype Santorum's "weapons of mass destruction"
  12. ^ U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer - New York Times
  13. ^ BBC NEWS | Middle East | US Iran report branded dishonest
  14. ^ IAEA: Iran Nuclear Report 'Outrageous', U.N. Blasts House Committee Claims On Tehran's Weapon-Making Capability - CBS News
  15. ^ "Following Path of Least Resistance, Terrorists Turn Yemen Into Poor Man's Afghanistan". Fox News. 2009-12-27. Archived from the original on 2009-12-27. "'They should stay there. They should not go back to Yemen,' Hoekstra said. 'If they go back to Yemen, we will very soon find them back on the battlefield going after Americans and other western interests.'" 
  16. ^ Josh Gerstein (2009-12-27). "Bomb plot complicates Gitmo plan". Politico. Archived from the original on 2009-12-28. "'Yesterday just highlights the fact that sending this many people back—or any people back—to Yemen right now is a really bad idea,' said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. 'It’s just dumb….If you made a list of what the three dumbest countries would be to send people back to, Yemen would be on all the lists.'" 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Carl D. Pursell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 2nd congressional district

1993 – present
Political offices
Preceded by
Porter Goss
Chairman of House Intelligence Committee
Succeeded by
Silvestre Reyes


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