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Politics

Potential Upton Challenger Impresses Club For Growth

November 2, 2011

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., may be facing a familiar foe in next year's GOP primary -- and this time he could have a conservative group that wields significant influence on his side.

Former state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk challenged the 13-term Upton in the 2010 primary, and took 43 percent of the vote, despite being vastly outspent by Upton. Hoogendyk met on Wednesday with the Club for Growth, and the anti-tax group walked away very impressed.

"We're taking a look at the race," Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller told Hotline On Call. "Hoogendyk had a good record in the Michigan legislature. And Upton has a very long record of voting for bigger government that's just inconsistent with our goals."

In an August interview with Hotline On Call, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola called Upton, now a member of the debt-reduction super committee, his "greatest worry."

There are some folks who we don't think carry the pro-growth agenda," Chocola said then. "He brought us the lightbulb and all that good stuff. He's been around a long time and he has a long record, and it's not necessarily a conservative record."

If Hoogendyk does get in the race, he'd likely need the Club's muscle behind him to battle the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee chairman. Last quarter alone, Upton raised over $400,000 and has nearly $1.5 million in the bank.

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