Republican U.S. Senate Candidates Debate Before Primary

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Pete Hoekstra, Randy Hekman and Clark Durant, Michigan GOP candidates for the U.S. Senate, came together for a debate on Thursday.

Clark Durant attacked Pete Hoekstra's voting records in Congress.

"Congressman Hoekstra, you voted for all sorts of earmarks that did precisely what you said shouldn't happen," Durant said.

Hoekstra turned the tables and accused Durant of running a desperate campaign.

"You start running negative ads, you call for Lincoln-Douglas debates, you've got the same person running the campaign," said Hoekstra.

Political analyst Bill Ballenger says Durant's strategy is typical of someone trying to beat the frontrunner.

"Nothing ventured nothing gained. If you don't attack your opponent and you don't tear him down and you're way behind, you're going to end up losing," said Ballenger.

While Durant positioned himself as the only other opponent, Ballenger says his momentum is not stronger than Randy Hekman's.

"I really don't think Durant is necessarily that far ahead of Randy Hekman. I think both of them have been chasing Pete Hoekstra for really almost a year and half," Ballenger said.

Ballenger predicted that both Hekman and Durant's chances of beating Hoekstra are slim.

"I don't think they have the financial strength to be able to overcome Hoekstra's lead in the polls. Durant and particularly Hekman have never been able to raise the money that they need to make a difference."

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