Friday, January 9, 2015

Race for Republican Chair In Michigan Heats Up: 4 Candidates In - More To Follow?

As of  the initial filing deadline of Monday January 5th, 2015 four candidates have  filed to run for Michigan Republican Party Chair.  Mitt Romney's niece, Ronna Romney McDaniel of Northville, Kim Shmina of Fair Haven, David Wolkinson of Birmingham and Joel Poynter of Baldwin 

 Former State Rep. Pete Lund of Shelby Township, who expressed early interest, has yet to decided whether he will run.

 Other potential candidates could still meet the requirements for a late filing deadline by January 22.

Other potential candidates include longtime conservative activist Norm Hughes and Former State Rep. Tom McMillin. Current 14th District Chair Paul Welday is officially out and backing Romney McDaniel.

Reports on Facebook indicate that Norm Hughes maybe considering jumping in.  Norm is a professional architect and long-time conservative leader in Michigan going back to the 1960s, Norm
Facebook post on 12/31/14 hinting Norm might run
held three positions in the Ronald Reagan administration and is co-author of Michigan’s landmark Tax Limitation Amendment. Many encouraged Norm to run for chair in 2013 but he choose to back Todd Courser at that time.  It was Norm's leadership that almost gave Todd the Chairmanship over Bobby Schostak. 

Norm Hughes with Ronald & Nancy Reagan circa early 80s

Kimberly Shmina
Kimberly Shmina, serves on the executive committee of the St. Clair County Republican Party and is vice chair of the 10th Congressional District GOP committee. She’s also a certified nurse practitioner with a Doctoral degree and teaches at Wayne State University.

David Wolkinson
David Wolkinson previously worked as Campaign Manger for former 11th District Congressman Kerry Bentivolio before he stepped aside and Barb Bulic of Macomb County took over that campaign.  David also worked as a policy director on Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2010 campaign and ran for state House in 2012, losing in the 40th District GOP primary by roughly 300 votes.  Some believe Wolkinson may be in the race to run interference with Shmina who is running a tough campaign against Romney McDaniel. 

Joel Poynter, is chairman of the Lake County Republican Party. He’s an engineer who contracted with Delphi and worked with Detroit automakers.

Poynter believes the current State Party leadership is not standing strong with the Republican platform.  He also said he thought GOP leaders erred when they asked Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to resign for controversial anti-gay comments.

“Dave didn’t say anything that really wasn’t part of the platform,” said Poynter, referencing the party’s official stance on gay marriage. “But yet some at the state level really tried to crucify him. I have a problem with that. If it’s in the platform, why are you crucifying this guy?”

Ronna Romney McDaniel has been involved in politics most of her life coming from the political
Ronna Romney McDaniel
Romney family.  She has been described as one that has done everything from fundraising to knocking on doors to making calls to legislators encouraging them to support Right to Work in Michigan.

Right now the two top contenders are Ronna Romney McDaniel and Kimberly Shmina.  It is however anyone's game at this point and as more people get to know Joel Poynter he will climb in the polls.  The biggest game changer will come if Norm Hughes or Tom McMillin decide to jump into the race. 

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