OKEMOS, MI (WHTC) - In a statewide poll conducted by Okemos-based Murray Communcations of over 11 hundred likely GOP voters, Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra placed fourth among nine potential Republican candidates for the 2014 US Senate race. Perceived front-runner Mike Rogers topped the list, as the Brighton US House Representative polled at 35 percent, followed by Hope College graduate and one-time Michigan Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land at 28 percent, Grand Rapids US House Rep. Justin Amash at 10 percent, and Dykstra at nine percent.
Dykstra, a local attorney who has spent eight years on City Council, the last four as Mayor, somewhat tongue-in-cheek tested the Senate candidate waters in a slideshow presentation at the Tulip Time Luncheon two weeks ago. While not saying that he wasn't running, he did say that he wanted to see what reaction would come from this, and didn't rule out anything. Dykstra is running unopposed for a third two-year term as Holland mayor this fall.
Although not a candidate yet, Dykstra has already drawn some critics about a possible Senate run. Conservatives question his support of the tax breaks and stimulus grants for the two lithium-ion battery plants in Holland, along with his warm reception for the President during Mr. Obama's visits to those plant sites. Liberals are critical of Dykstra's no vote in Holland's failed sexual preference/gender identity amendment proposal to the city's anti-discrimination ordinance.
So far, there have been no announced Republican candidates for the US Senate seat that six-term Democrat Carl Levin of Detroit is retiring from after 2014; Congressman Gary Peters of suburban Detroit has already thrown his hat into the ring and is apparently the choice of many party leaders to be the Democrats' standard bearer in this race.