In a Major upset Businessman Rick Snyder (R) easily bested Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and Attorney General Mike Cox (R) to claim the Republican nomination for governor.
Snyder, a former top executive at computer maker Gateway Inc., claimed 37 percent of the vote, and with close to half the precincts reporting was declared the winner by the Associated Press. Hoekstra was second with 26 percent, and Cox came in third with 24 percent.
Making his first foray in electoral politics, his win was a surprise to many observers. The race was shaken up in the final weeks by reports that Cox had attended an infamous 2002 party and received lap dances, claims he denied.
Pete Hoekstra’s run for governor ends
Pete Hoekstra may not have won the Republican nomination, but he didn’t seem to sweat it Tuesday night, after conceding to opponent Rick Snyder.
“Diane and I are fully prepared,” he told a roomful of supporters just before 10:30 p.m. “God has a plan for us.”
“He’s got a better plan!” one person shouted.
Hoekstra told the crowd not to focus on the loss, but the work ahead.
“It was never about one person, it was about the shared passion we have,” he said. “We have to carry forward our vision.”
About half the ballroom at the Hudsonville Pinnacle Center cleared out after Hoekstra made the announcement. Campaign workers began pulling down Hoekstra signs 15 minutes after the speech.
Many supporters had stayed hopeful throughout the night, even when Hoekstra trailed Snyder by eight to 10 percent of the vote. Crowd members shouted “Go Pete, go!” as precinct results trickled in.