Monday, January 19, 2015

Joey Gamrat Addresses Eligibility Concern, Says Convention Delegates Should Decide The Issue

Joey Gamrat, right, with his Mom, Cindy

By Brandon Hall

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After WMP broke the news that the Michigan Republican Party was taking issue with Joey Gamrat's candidacy for Youth Chair, Ron Dwyer and Kevin Rex Heine have weighed in.

Joey Gamrat responded to concerns raised by delegates with this statement Monday afternoon:

"The rules actually specify that to serve as a member you must be a registered voter. They are silent on the issue of running as a candidate and being elected but not "taking office" a few months later. It's a decision I feel should be up to the voting delegates."

Kevin's article is quite good and worth a read. Here is an excerpt:

"Now, by this point, I suspect that most are now wondering why I’m going into such detail regarding exactly
 when someone qualifies to be a registered voter, and how that might apply to membership on the MIGOP State Party Leadership.

Here’s why.

A week ago, Brandon Hall over at West Michigan Politics broke an interesting little story (that was picked up on Friday by Ron Dwyer at Setting The Record Straight, but apparently nowhere else so far as I’ve noticed) that one Joey Gamrat appears to now have himself an eligibility issue with his candidacy affidavit for Youth Vice Chair.

Evidently, Joey Gamrat (son of Cindy Gamrat, for those of you a little slow on the uptake) in preparation for his run at the Youth Vice Chair seat being vacated by Blake Edmonds, at some point between mid-November and mid-December, pre-registered to vote (his 18th birthday is apparently July 3rd). But for the finale of the 2014 lame duck session, it would probably have been no big deal. However, now we have a statewide ballot proposal that, assuming that I’m correctly inferring from Hall and Dwyer, temporarily invalidates Mr. Gamrat’s voter pre-registration (until May 6th, the day after the vote on Proposal 15-1), and thus the Policy Committee will, at their meeting later this week, rule Gamrat’s affidavit of candidacy void (because he no longer meets the qualifications to be a registered voter in Michigan). And unlike the “Nakagiri Signature Scramble” from a year ago, all the signatures on the planet can’t override this one.

That’s a bugger, because Joey’s a great kid, has absolutely busted his butt for the cause this election cycle, and would make, in my opinion, and excellent Youth Vice-Chair. However, as I pointed out in a comment on the West Michigan Politics FaceBook page, between Michigan Election Code section 168.492 and Michigan Republican Bylaws paragraph 3E, the plain language of the law is the plain language of the law . . . period."

His mother, State Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell), said the folowing about the issue:

"I appreciate all the work the grassroots does for Liberty. The Joey Gamrat thing is about a young man who saw an opportunity to make a difference and he took it. He didn’t stay on the sidelines but put it all on the line to step forward and do all that comes with such a big decision. He invested his time, money, and energy and has campaigned hard, traveling the state every night, arriving home usually around 2:00am. Since his campaign has started he is rarely home as he has worked tirelessly to meet as many delegates as possible. 

He was all in from the beginning and had put a lot into a full fledged campaign when the lame duck added a new election and Joey was caught in that midstream. Even so he has continued to go the course as the logistics get worked out. I am proud of the effort he has given and the experience and growth he has gained through this endeavor. He was and is “all in” and a new lame duck session hasn’t changed his heart. He has shown integrity and courage through it all and I am honored to be called his mom." 


Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at 


Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

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