By Brandon Hall
(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)
For the general public, "elections are over." And so are those damn commercials. Political nerds know elections are never over-there's always one on the horizon. And if you're like me, there are never enough political commercials.
In Michigan, the next major election will decide who leads the Michigan Republican Party for the 2016 campaign cycle.
Robocalls, email campaigns, and even some dirty tricks have already started in the lead up to the convention in February, where MIGOP Precinct Delegates will make the decision.
The election should be interesting, especially after an immensely close contest in 2013 that saw current Chairman Schostak narrowly defeat tea party favorite and now State Rep. elect Todd Courser.
Here are some of the candidates rumored to be considering a run.
Ron Weiser, fresh off a loss in his bid for U of M Regent in November, is frequently mentioned in robocalls and is thought to be considering a return to the Chairmanship. He led the party's successful 2010 effort, and is a vital fundraiser for the state and national party. His political and fundraising abiliities give him a palpable presence in any contest he enters.
Pete Lund is making all the right moves as he exits the Michigan House after 6 years of service. The former leader of the HRCC is smart-he knows his way around Lansing and knows how to play the political game. His electoral college plan has kept him in the conversation as lame duck approaches, and Lund will be a threat if he decides to get in the race.
Jeff Sawka lost a heartbreaking race for MSU Trustee in November after initial returns showed a victory. Sawka was lauded for his impressive campaign-he worked hard and was always full of positive rhetoric. Sawka's presence in the Chair race would be a positive addition to the discussion, and he has been mentioned in robocalls and emails.
Paul Mitchell lost his bid for Congress in the August primary, spending millions only to be defeated in an upset comeback by State Sen. John Moolenaar. Mitchell is currently the Chairman of Michigan's Faith and Freedom Coalition. He first garnered buzz for his "PurePAC" ads attacking Gary Peters in fall of 2013.
Terri Land's name has also been mentioned. Fresh off a hard hitting U.S. Senate campaign, she may want a break. If not, the former Secretary of State and RNC Committeewoman would be a formidable candidate. The media might not be her people, but she can woo delegates one-on-one with her personal charm, and has the proven ability to win major campaigns. Regardless, Terri Land will be back in politics in some capacity.
Will one of thee 8 people be the next Chair of the Michigan GOP? It's looking like that will be the case. Get ready for the campaign.
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
|Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson|