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Former state Sen. Alan Sanborn said Tuesday he plans to run for the seat of retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, becoming the second GOP candidate in the race.

"This is going to take an army of supporters, of grassroots work, and we're going to build that Sanborn army," said Sanborn, R-Richmond.

Sanborn, 57, served two terms in the Senate, where he was assistant president pro tempore, and two terms in the state House of Representatives. He is a probation officer for the Macomb County Circuit Court and the son of former lawmaker and retired Macomb County Circuit Judge Kenneth N. Sanborn.

In mid-March, Republican state Sen. Phil Pavlov of St. Clair Township became the first candidate to announce his run for Miller's seat.

Miller of Harrison Township said in March that she would retire in 2016 after seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 10th Congressional District includes northern Macomb County and St. Clair, Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac and Lapeer counties. Political experts consider it solidly Republican.

"I was Michigan's most conservative senator," Sanborn said. "You always know how I'm going to vote on the issues, and folks from this district want conservative representation."

Sanborn said his fundraising efforts have begun and that he's hired Ted Prill of KAP Strategies as a campaign consultant. Prill previously worked on Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard's campaign for governor.

Former state Sen. Jud Gilbert worked with Sanborn for years and said in a statement he "has the credentials, lineage and reputation" to serve in Congress.

Other Republicans who have expressed interest in running for Miller's seat include state Sen. Jack Brandenburg of Harrison Township, former state Rep. Pete Lund of Shelby Township, Rep. Andrea LaFontaine of Columbus Township, freshman Rep. Todd Courser of Lapeer and former state Rep. Leon Drolet of Macomb Township.

mburke@detroitnews.com

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