Michigan GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak appears to have angered several potential challengers to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) with his recent comments about the field.
In an interview this week, Schostak said there were some "strong names" considering running, but none was "head and shoulders" above the rest.
Republican Randy Hekman, a former county judge, is the only Republican candidate to announce for Senate. Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, former state GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis and former Rep. Pete Hoekstra are all mulling bids.
Schostak predicted a top contender would emerge.
"I expect that will happen, but I don't know who it is. They haven't met with me yet, if they're out there," he said. "Doesn't it mean there won't be a primary, though.
"I would think by early summer we should have two or three in the race that are, you know, contenders," he told the Detroit News.
Hoekstra, who ran for governor last cycle but lost in the primary, took issue with the chairman's comments.
“I thought Schostak’s comments were unfortunate," the former congressman told the Grand Rapids Press. Hoekstra also said he would decide in the next two weeks if he's going to run for the GOP nod.
Meanwhile, Land also weighed in on the chairman's comments. "Basically, what he is saying is he doesn't like us, which is a pretty rude thing for the state party chairman to say," she said.
Stu Sandler, the interim executive director of the state GOP, insisted the potential field includes some "strong candidates," but admitted Schostak could have been more precise with his comments.
Schostak also told the News that none of the GOP members of Congress appeared interested in challenging Stabenow.