John Ramsey (search), the father of slain child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey (search), announced Tuesday that he will run for the Michigan state House, saying his daughter's death has given him "a platform."

Ramsey joins five fellow Republicans and two Democrats seeking to represent a district in the northwest corner of the state's Lower Peninsula.

"Borne out of the tragedy of the loss of our daughter, I have been given a platform — one that I did not seek," Ramsey said. "But my task, I believe, is to use that platform for good."

Ramsey spoke at an evening rally in Charlevoix, where he and his wife, Patsy, moved last fall from Atlanta. The couple has long had a summer home in the community about 230 miles northwest of Detroit.

Ramsey is running for a seat now held by state Rep. Ken Bradstreet (search), a Republican who cannot seek re-election because of term limits. The primary is Aug. 3.

The Ramseys were living in Boulder, Colo., when 6-year-old JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of their home on Dec. 26, 1996.

The case soon became a tabloid sensation, and a cloud of suspicion hung over the girl's parents, who insisted the crime was committed by an intruder. The parents were never charged.

Ramsey acknowledged that some people might continue to suspect him or his wife in JonBenet's death. He said some doubters will never be convinced, even if the killer is caught.

"That is the way the world works. We cannot let that intimidate us," he told a cheering crowd of at least 100 supporters who gathered in a parking garage adjacent to his wife's new business, a Web site development and promotion company.

"I cannot let evil win," he said. "Our family will go on with its life."