It's good to have friends in high places. Just ask former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., whose Senate campaign received endorsements on Friday from two leading Congressional conservatives -- Iowa Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. - along with Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Hoekstra forged relationships with all three while in the House, where Hoekstra served for 18 years.
Hoekstra, who retired from Congress in 2010 after a failed gubernatorial bid, is seeking to fend off Cornerstone Schools founder Clark Durant, who has emerged as Hoekstra's most viable competitor for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
While Durant has gained some early attention thanks to endorsements from three former state party chairs, Hoekstra has been touting key supporters, including Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who defeated Hoekstra in last year's primary but endorsed his former opponent earlier this week.
Hoekstra and Durant are joined in the GOP primary contest by former judge Randy Hekman, who, like Durant, is unknown to most Michigan voters. Durant, however, has an advantage over Hekman in his ability to self-finance some of his campaign -- which he'll need to do to keep pace with Hoekstra in the early going.