|Leonard, left, Schuitmaker, right|
By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)
State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker is under fire for a Facebook post in which she said some precinct delegates are controlled, implying delegates who think for themselves and don't follow a leader are essentially worthless to her campaign.
The post, which has since been removed, was regarding Monroe County Commissioner Greg Moore's endorsement of House Speaker Tom Leonard for his Attorney General campaign.
Leonard and Schuitmaker are both seeking the Republican nomination for AG at the MIGOP convention next summer...
""Both Randy and Jason say not to worry bc (Greg) does not control delegates," Schuitmaker said, seemingly referring to former Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and State Rep. Jason Sheppard.
>>>Watch Greg Moore address the issue in a Facebook video:
3rd District MIGOP State Committeeman Matt Hall says the post is very revealing.
"This is how Tonya Schuitmaker publicly reassures her Lansing base that her candidacy is valid?? I have heard Tonya speak this way before about delegates, but never publicly," Hall said. "In Tonya’s perverted view of GOP politics...legislators control grassroots delegates. Once two area legislators inform her that a delegate does not matter she writes him off. The true Tonya Schuitmaker that I know is shining through for all to see...She should be worried, and not dismissive of a delegate like Greg Moore supporting her opponent. (T)he assumption behind her statement that the only people who she should be worried about are these elected officials who control the delegates is wrong."
Moore called Schuitmaker's comments "a mistake," and says that someone who would make such a comment clearly doesn't understand the convention process and what delegates do. Moore says delegates should think for themselves, he has no interest in controlling anyone.
Political consultant Stu Sandler of Grand River Strategies says he has never seen a convention candidate openly attack a delegate this way.
"I have seen a lot of things in convention races over the years, I have never seen one candidate openly discredit another candidate's endorsement until now," Sandler said. "Terrible move here by Tonya Schuitmaker. Tom Leonard posted an endorsement by Monroe activist Greg Moore. Greg might not be the biggest power broker on the convention floor or even in Monroe. But he is a good Republican and I would be proud to have his support if I was running for something. Not sure 2,000 delegates want to be evaluated by Tonya Schuitmaker openly on how many delegates they bring to convention. But I guess that's the joys of social media."
Schuitmaker has not commented about the situation at this time.
Schuitmaker has faced a rocky start to her Attorney General campaign.
At the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference last month, she received around 30% of the vote in the straw poll, with Leonard grabbing nearly 70%. Leonard hadn't even declared his candidacy yet...
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com