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Hoekstra takes on Sen. Stabenow in Michigan

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Michigan Republicans chose former Rep. Pete Hoekstra Tuesday to take on Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November.

In Missouri, Rep. Todd Akin, 65, won a hard-fought Republican primary for the right to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, topping businessman John Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman. McCaskill was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

In a slightly redrawn Michigan district, Democratic Rep. John Conyers staved off a primary challenge and will be strongly favored to win a 25th consecutive term in Congress.

Rep. Gary Peters won the Democratic primary in Michigan's 14th District, defeating another congressman and three others. Peters and Rep. Hansen Clarke ran in the same district after Michigan lost a seat because of population loss. Clarke's defeat means that, for the first time since 1965, the Detroit area will not be represented by two black members of Congress.

Hoekstra easily outpaced his nearest challenger, overcoming a late push by Clark Durant that included attacks on his conservative record that cast him as a Washington insider. He will be the underdog to Stabenow.

The GOP needs to net four seats from Democrats to gain control of the Senate and see McCaskill as among their top targets.

It was announced, meanwhile, that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, founder of the Senate's Tea Party Caucus, and Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, the first woman elected to Congress from that state since the 1920s, will speak at the GOP National Convention in Tampa.

-- AP, with Bloomberg News

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