With just 62 days left before the August 3rd Michigan Primary elections, the 2nd District Congressional race is heating up.

Jay Riemersma is making an impressive showing, and recent polling indicates Riemersma is leading in most of the district’s 11 counties.

Jay aired the first television ad of the race a few weeks ago. The ad was well produced, catchy, and smart. In the ad, Jay reiterates his strong commitment to Conservative values, highlighting  his pro-life and pro-guns stance. You can see the video below:

Jay has also launched his “10,000 Doors in 2010” campaign. Riemersma plans to go door to door over the coming weeks, and spread his message to the people of the 2nd District. To date, Riemersma and his many volunteers have knocked on over 3,000 doors. Jay is averaging about 250 doors per day, and more on his “Super Saturdays.”

Jay Riemersma for Congress 2010

You can follow Jay's progress at http://www.votejr.com

I haven’t seen any other candidate in this race work so hard. If this kind of work ethic is indicative of how Jay will perform in Washington, then West Michigan will be well represented. It’s this kind of nose-to-the-grindstone spirit we need in Washington.

Riemersma’s success isn’t going unnoticed, either. Bill Huizenga is certainly feeling the pressure Jay has brought to the race, and the Huizenga Campaign’s low fundraising totals would seem to indicate that the Michigan legislator is losing ground to the former NFL football player. Other candidates, including Bill Cooper of Muskegon, have claimed that Jay’s career as a professional athlete does not qualify him to represent West Michigan in Congress.

Isn’t it odd, though, that they always fail to mention that Riemersma is a graduate of the University of Michigan? Last time I checked, that Big Ten school didn’t award degrees in football. Jay holds a BA in Communications from U of M, and communicating with the people of West Michigan is something he seems to be doing quite well.

And at the end of the day, that’s what a Congressman really needs to be. A communicator. It doesn’t do much good to have the greatest idea in the world if you can’t communicate that idea, make others understand it, and rally support behind the idea. Bill Cooper may be great at creating jobs, but can he convince other Congressmen to join up with him, garner support, and push that idea into law? Maybe, maybe not.

Jay Riemersma can. Jay has proven over the last several months that he is willing to do the hard work required to win. He’s proven throughout his professional career that he has the guts, discipline, and intestinal fortitude to see that the job gets done.

As a Marine, I know a bit about discipline, hard work, and perseverance. I see these qualities in Jay Riemersma, and that’s why I want him as our next Congressman, representing West Michigan in Washington.

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Last night I attended another Lincoln Day Dinner. This time our host was the Mason County Republican Party, and I attended as a guest of Pete Hoekstra’s Campaign.

Last night, the main speakers were the Congressional Candidates for Michigan’s 2nd District. Six candidates were in attendance, and took their turns giving their backgrounds and their beliefs. This is a great place to start looking for contrast among the candidates.

Two of the candidates are existing politicians from the Michigan State Government. Sen Wayne Kuipers and Rep Bill Huizenga have both represented their districts in Lansing, and have experience in the political world. I haven’t personally agreed with some of the decisions they have made while in office, but they do undoubtedly have the experience. Unfortunately for them, there is a wide current of public sentiment that is not happy with the current state of affairs, and political experience may do them more harm than good.

Next were two new candidates that I hadn’t seen prior to last night. One was a self-professed “Tea-Party Republican” from Honor, Michigan who was plainly uncomfortable speaking in public, and did little to instill any excitement in me.

The other was actually so far left in his views that I honestly can’t remember his name. His stance is one of “open-mindedness,” and he believes that we should look to foreign publications and opinions for guidance on forming our policies here in the U.S. To that I give an emphatic “HELL NO”. He, too, was low on the motivational scale.

Then there’s Bill Cooper, the successful business entrepreneur from Fruitport. Bill is undoubtedly business savvy, and I would not hesitate to hire him to run a business for me. Beyond that, Bill has had little to nothing to say on any other issues. Personally, I’m looking for a leader with a wider range of capabilities. Bill would be a great business advisor to someone in office, but I’m just not convinced where he stands on the other issues.

Finally, there’s Jay Riemersma, former NFL Player and Chair of the Family Readiness Council. Jay exudes energy and confidence. Confidence, as opposed to arrogance. Jay has true leadership qualities: the ability to consider both sides of an argument, the moral strength to stick to his principles and beliefs, and the humility to know that he is a position of service, beholden to the people. He is the only candidate as of yet to state that the reason he is running is to “Give back to the community.”

It’s Jay’s personal beliefs, principles similar to my own, that make him stand out among the crowd in my eyes. He doesn’t dance around issues. He can tackle challenges head on, and he’s not afraid of a little friction. He believes in true fiscal conservatism, and he knows that more government is not the answer to America’s troubles. Jay believes we need a strong military, and that we need to provide our troops with the support they need.

One of the Marine Corps’ (pronounced “core”, NOT “corpse” thank you very much!) key Leadership Principles is “Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement.” Jay spends a lot of time staying abreast of current events and issues. On the rare occassions I have caught him on a subject he didn’t know about, he acknowledged it and sought to learn more about the subject. This kind of humility is uncommon, and a trait essential to true leaders.

While some candidates have attempted to portray Jay as the “Dumb Jock”, the truth of the matter is that Jay has a degree from the University of Michigan, is articulate, and very capable of communicating with others.

It’s pretty obvious that I support and have publicly endorsed Jay. My intent here is to give you an idea WHY. Many of the other candidates are respectable men, and in theory are capable of filling the position. When it comes time to cast my ballot on August 3rd, however, I can only choose one, and I want the BEST choice to win. THAT’S why I choose Jay Riemersma for Congress. Jay has the strength and fortitude to lead in Washington, and we need strength and leadership now more than ever.

To find out more about Jay Riemersma, visit his website www.votejr.com.

You can also contact me for more information. I’m looking for others to help spread the word about Jay, and I could use your help. You can find my contact info at my website www.timwhitehomes.com. Comments here are great way to reach me, as well.

MCRP photo by Tim White

Photo by Tim White

Last night the Muskegon County Republican Party hosted the 2010 Lincoln Day Dinner, and in attendance were several of the key Republican candidates for the 2010 Elections. The event is a fundraiser for the Michigan GOP, and is held to honor the first Republican President,  Abraham Lincoln.

Pete Hoekstra, photo by Tim White

Guest Speaker, Congressman Pete Hoekstra (Photo by Tim White)

I attended the event as a guest of  Congressman Pete Hoekstra. Pete and his wife sat with us for dinner, and for the Congressional Candidate Panel that followed. I had the opportunity to speak with Pete, and I’m confident and hopeful that he will be our next Governor. I’ve been volunteering on Pete’s campaign for Governor since last summer.

Pete introduced the Republican Congressional Candidates there to speak that evening. Bill Cooper, Senator Wayne Kuipers, State Rep. Bill Huizenga, and Jay Riemersma. All four are hoping to replace Congressman Pete Hoekstra in Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District. Pete Hoekstra has held the seat for the better part of two decades, but is stepping out of that position to run for Governor.

The Panel of candidates fielded questions from the audience, and from the moderator, David Farhat. The questions included:

  1. What sets you apart from the other candidates?
  2. What should be done about the Asian Carp invasion of the Great Lakes?
  3. How do you feel about the Michigan Film Tax Incentive?
  4. How do you feel about the Michigan Business Tax?
Jay Riemersma, Bill Huizenga, Photo by Tim White

Jay Riemersma and Rep. Bill Huizenga (Photo by Tim White)

Jay Riemersma took the opportunity to remind everyone that both Kuipers and Huizenga had both been in office when the MBT was passed, and that BOTH gentlemen voted FOR the legislation. Riemersma went on to point out that, “The Michigan Business Tax has destroyed the entrepreneurial spirit in Michigan.” Huizenga, visibly flustered, attacked Jay’s lack of political experience, and protested that his record has been distorted. (Huizenga did indeed vote for the original draft of the  Bill, prior to the 22% surcharge being added.)

You can basically carve the four candidate options right in half at this point. Neither Riemersma nor Cooper have ever held public office. Both agree that sending more career politicians to Washington is not going to help fix the economy. Kuiper and Huizenga are both citing their experience in office as their strengths.

If the volume of the TEA Parties is any indication, it would seem the American people don’t really place a whole lot of weight on whether you’ve been in office or not. In fact, considering the shape the State of Michigan is in right now, it’s kind of like applying for a job at a cruise line and boasting that you were part of the navigation crew aboard the Titanic.

At the end of the night, the winner of the Straw Poll was announced. Jay Riemersma won the poll, indicating that when it comes time to put someone on the ballot, Jay has support in Muskegon County.

Jay Riemersma is a candidate that puts leadership and principle out front, and that’s what he’s counting on to get him elected. He cited the work of Pete Hoekstra over the years, and hopes to emulate what Pete has done, which is to stand up for the people, and be their voice in Washington. Jay demonstrated last night that he’s not afraid of a little confrontation, and if he sees something that’s out of bounds, he’s going to throw the flag.