Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) is in the mix of Republicans to become Michigan's next governor, according to a new, independent poll released Tuesday.

Hoekstra is toward the front of the pack of Republicans hoping to recapture the Wolverine State's governorship for the GOP, in an Inside Michigan Politics poll conducted last week.

22 percent of Michigan Republicans backed Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson as their favored candidate, followed by Hoekstra at 17 percent, state Attorney General Mike Cox at 15 percent, and state Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land at 12 percent.

32 percent of Michigan Republicans were undecided as to whom they would back in the primary.

Hoekstra's intention to retire from Congress announced last December fueled speculation that the 55-year-old may be eyeing statewide office.

The victorious Republican is exepcted to face Lt. Gov. John Cherry (D) in the general election; three Republicans tested in the poll hold early leads over Gov. Jennifer Granholm's (D) would-be successor.

Cox leads Cherry 41-34, while Land leads Cherry 39-34, and Patterson leads Cherry 38-34.

The poll, conducted March 4-10, has an overall margin of error of 4.1 percent, except for the GOP primary, which has a 5.7 margin of error.