In the race for Michigan’s U.S. Senate seat, five candidates have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Scotty Boman, a libertarian activist, Clark Durant, the co-founder of Cornerstone Schools (Michigan), former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, American Family  Association of Michigan President Gary Glenn, and evangelical pastor Randy Heckman are the first four candidates in a crowded Republican field to sign the Pledge in their bid to defeat incumbent Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Other announced candidates for the Republican nomination include retired auto worker Rick Wilson, businessman Peter Konetchy, and businessman Chuck Marino. There are also a number of other individuals considering a run for the seat.

In 2006, Sen. Stabenow defeated Republican Michael Bouchard by a margin of 57% to 42%. Since then unemployment in Michigan has increased significantly and as of August was 11.2%, compared to the national average of 9.1%.This was an increase from the prior month and only three states have worse unemployment numbers.

In 2010, the trend to elect Democrats in Michigan was reversed when Republican Rick Snyder defeated Democrat Virg Bernero in the gubernatorial election. This Republican gain was met with success in the state legislature, which is now also controlled by Republicans.

By signing the Pledge, Boman, Hoekstra, Clark, Heckman, and Glenn commit to the taxpayers of Michigan that they will “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”