Friday, February 20, 2015

Linda Lee Tarver And Darwin Jiles Battle For MIGOP Ethnic Vice Chair Position

Linda Lee Tarver with supporters (Photo by Darlene Dowling Thompson)


By Brandon Hall   
(Email him at

Linda Lee Tarver faces Flint GOP activist Darwin Jiles in the race for MIGOP Ethnic Vice Chair. She currently holds that role.

Tarver took some time to answer a few questions and her responses are below. We were not able to speak with Jiles due to multiple reasons, but very much appreciate his willingness to talk! After Linda Lee Tarver's responses, please check out some info about what Darwin's supporters are saying.

Why are you running for Ethnic Vice Chair of the Michigan Republican Party?
I am running for re-election because there is more work to do and I have demonstrated and have documented proven results in attracting and retaining citizens of every race, color, creed, and nationality to the Republican Party. My goal is consistent with the goals of the Party and that is to get Republicans elected! The year 1988 was the last time Michigan presidential delegates were awarded to a Republican. We need to ensure Michigan turns red for 2016 and the Ethnic Vice Chair is vital to state, congressional, and presidential election. I am the only candidate who has the background, credentials, and character to actively engage, accompany, and credibly promote our Republican Presidential contender.

Describe yourself. What experience do you have? What do you want delegates to know about you?
Linda Lee Tarver serves as the Ethnic Vice-Chair of the Michigan Republican Party, former Chairwoman of the Ingham County Republican Party, former 8th District State Committeewoman, former Vice-Chair and Co-founder of the Alliance of Black Republicans, former Chaplain for and current member of the Mid-Michigan Republican Women’s Club, Advisor to the Christian Coalition of Michigan, and Advisor of the Frederick Douglass Society of Michigan.

In 2008 and 2012, Linda Lee represented Michigan as a National Delegate to the Republican National Convention. Ms. Tarver was selected to join Florida Lt. Governor, Jennifer Carroll and Congressman Alan West on the national Black Leadership Council for Mitt Romney and was a leader in the Women for Mitt Campaign. In February, 2015, the Michigan Republican Party honored Linda Lee with the Grassroots Leadership Award for exceptional service in community engagement and stellar results in contributing to the Michigan Comeback.

Linda Lee has campaigned tirelessly and vigorously on the Michigan Secretary of State campaigns. Most notably, Linda Lee’s efforts contributed to both Secretary Land (in 2006), and Secretary Johnson (in 2014) receiving the highest Republican votes in the state of Michigan.

As part of her duties as Ethnic Vice-Chair for the Michigan GOP, Ms. Tarver represented Michigan as a speaker and panel member for the 2011 Midwest Republican Leadership Conference in Minneapolis, MN. The panel discussion topic was “New Faces, New Voices” in the Republican Party. Linda Lee is also a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition and one of the coordinators of the Michigan National Day of Prayer, held each year at the Capital.

Under Linda Lee’s leadership, the Michigan Republican Party has built relationships and established coalitions for an African-American Republican Advisory Council, an Arab-American Republican Advisory Council, and a Hispanic-American Republican Advisory Council.

Linda Lee has participated in genuine outreach in all urban areas in Michigan promoting personhood, traditional marriage protection, rule of law, educational choice, right to life, religious liberty, and the Republican Platform. Linda Lee Tarver has been publicly seen and heard standing with other conservative leaders advocating Republican Principles.

Ms. Tarver is the only candidate who has traveled throughout the state of Michigan taking the Republican message and its platform to any and all groups. She has traveled from Traverse City to Adrian, from Manistique to Muskegon, from Petoskey to Benton Harbor, from Detroit to Holland and everywhere in between. Linda Lee is a conservative leader, a fierce grassroots activist, a strong voice for the Michigan Republican Party and a candidate for Ethnic Vice Chair who has read the entire 2012 Republican Platform.

Position on May 5th road tax package and why?
I inherently oppose tax increases and the May 5th proposal is no exception. While I have not had the opportunity to review the proposed package in great detail, using a long-term or infinite solution (tax increase) to pay for a temporary fix is not good policy in my opinion.

Why are you the best candidate?
I am tested, trusted, tried, and true! More importantly, I get results. I’ve created and developed relationships across the state. Vice Chairs are elected statewide and not in one region. I am the ONLY candidate with the record of success. My background and reputation as a tireless leader and Republican grassroots activist has afforded me an opportunity to make the case for the Republican Party.

How is the race going?
My race is going exceptionally well. I receive endorsements every day and an overwhelming outpouring of support across the entire state. I’ve been endorsed by many active and conservative Republican leaders in Michigan, including the fact that I am the ONLY candidate that has receive endorsements from prominent Black and Hispanic Michigan Republicans. Below is a list of some of the endorsements:

Akindele Akinyemi
Allen Reichle
Amy R. Carl
Ana Maria R. Guzman
Anna Mouser
Attorney General Bill Schuette
Becky Miles
Benjamin J. Soltis
Bev Hansen
Bishop Ira Combs Jr.
Black Conservatives Fund
Blake Edmonds
Brad Wheelock
Clint Tarver
Congressman Mike Bishop
Dan Wholihan
Darlene Dowling Thompson
David Worthams
Dennis Armstrong
Derek Moss
Don Nelson
Donzell Green
Dr. Darlene Lee
Dr. Marylou Olivarez Mason
Dulce S. Cardenas
Eunice Myles Jeffries
Glenda Kennon
Hank Fuhs
Henry Hatter
Ida Byrd-Hill
Jacquelin R. Guzman
Jan Cischke Peabody
Jason Watts
Jennifer Lee-Williams
John Earl Haggard
Jon Chulski
Joseph M. Guzman
Julia Shonka
Kenneth Lloyd
Kenneth Ration
Kim M. Hoppe
LaShunda Griffin-Thomas
Lavel Smith
Linda Birgel
Michael Brown
Michael Moon
Michelle VanWert
Michelle Voorheis
Monica Stephens
Norm Shinkle
Pamela Boyle Williams
Paul Hoppe
Paul Welday
Representative Lana Theis
Rev. Ronda Hawkins
Rick Olivarez
Rick R. Garcia
Roger Kopernik
Ron and Julia Michals
Russ Spencer
Rusty Hills
Stacy Robinson-Swimp
Terry Bowman
Theresa Mungioli
Tony Baltimore
Torion & Jasmine Bridges
Vickie Niklas 
Victor Diaz
Wendy Day
Xavier Durand-Hollis
Yavonne Whitbeck

What is your opponent’s best quality?
From my limited knowledge and exposure to Mr. Jiles, he appears to be personable.

Views on how the MIGOP should choose its 2016 nominee?
Having been a part of the national convention where delegates were threatened to be reduced, I am not in support of any selection process where Michigan’s national delegates are in jeopardy. I was asked recently whether I wanted Democrats to vote in the Michigan Republican Primary. I responded NO. Because Michigan’s voter registration process does not require a declaration of Party affiliation, a closed primary may not result in all Republicans being able to select the candidate of their choosing. The perfect process in the selection of Michigan’s 2016 nominee must ensure our full national voting delegation, all self-identified Republicans can vote, and no one is disenfranchised.

What is the role of your position?
According to the 2012 Bylaws, passed by the MRP State Committee, the Ethnic Vice Chairman shall serve ex-officio as a member of all committees, and shall supervise and direct all ethnic activities designed to attract citizens of every race, color, creed, and nationality to the Republican Party. The Ethnic Vice Chairman shall perform such other duties as the Committee or the Chairman may determine. I am responsible for performing the duties outlined in the bylaws and responsible to ALL Michigan Republicans and their duly elected representatives on the MRP State Committee.

Why would you be the best choice?
I fully understand the office for which I seek re-election and believe I have effectively performed and exceeded the expectations in the performance of the duties of Ethnic Vice Chair!

What are your ideas/plan for the future?
My primary objectives are 1) to strengthen and engage the current African-American Republican, Hispanic-American Republican, and Arab-American Republican advisory councils in the state toward a unified Republican message (based on our platform) for gains in Republican volunteers, donors, participation, and votes for 2016, 2) employ proven strategies to communicate our message and attract new Republican voters, and 3) re-engage and reach out to individuals who may have left the Party toward unifying behind our principles and platform.

Anything you'd like delegates to know?
I am grateful and honored to have served these past four years as Ethnic Vice Chair. The role is without pay and strictly voluntary. I choose to serve in this capacity as a labor of love for my Party and the People within the Party. I am committed to the Republican Party, our Platform, and our Principles.

Where can they go for more information?
Delegates may visit my website at or on social media, Linda Lee for Michigan on Facebook.

Darwin Jiles with Sen. Rand Paul

>>>Darwin Jiles Jr For Ethnic Vice Chair Endorsements.


At the 2015 Michigan Grassroots PowWow -  Where Darwin Officially announced his Candidacy- Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema's Top Gun Conservative PAC endorsed Darwin Jiles Jr. for Michigan Republican Party's - Ethnics Vice Chair!!!

"Throughout my Air Force, Airline and political career I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many different people from various ethnic backgrounds with their own unique experiences. On February 21 the Michgan GOP will decide on who will be their ethnic vice chair. I have decided to support Darwin Jiles. Why? Because he can relate to the inner city life since he lived it. He watched his father die via criminal activity, lived in poverty, changed his own life and grew in his realization that he needed an education and a relationship with Christ. He understands how to explain to people the necessity of a free market, a work ethic and how the Republican party spreads wealth, not scarcity that welfare causes and espoused by the democrat party. He has learned from his experiences the necessity of a strong family unit. He will be attacked by some in our own party using various half truths in an attempt to character assassinate him for the benefit of another. Please remember that putting others down to build ourselves up is perhaps the ultimate sign of insecurity.."   Col (USAF Ret) Dave Agema
MI RNC National Committeeman . 3 Term MI State representative 74th district

"Darwin Jiles Jr for Michigan Ethnic Vice Chair,  He is Your Man Michigan!!!! A Bridge to the Future....."
C L Bryant Board Member Black Conservative Fund Former president of the NAACP’s Garland, Texas Chapter,  Radio/Television host, and a highly sought-after National Speaker

 "As someone who dared to challenge my sitting representative, after she  continually failed to support the Principles of the RNC Platform, I Proudly Endorse Darwin Jiles Jr for Ethnic Vice Chair. It is not the list of "Dignitaries, Party Loyalists, and officials" who have endorsed you that matter. The important thing is the PRINCIPLES AND PEOPLE STANDING WITH YOU, who have nothing to gain. Darwin has boldly and proudly stated his positions, has walked the walk, and will be able to communicate with inner city voters from a position of mutual interest, Knowledge, and shared Experience." Angela Rigas. Precinct Delegate Caledonia Precinct 2. Candidate for 86th District State Representative

"I started hearing good things about Darwin over 2 years ago. Others kept bringing up this young, Conservative, inner city activist, with a corporate experience background, who had a strategy to engage minorities in historically Democrat stronghold communities, and share the message of the Republican party.  After talking with and meeting Darwin at various political events, I was proud to Introduce him at the Jan 2015 Tea Party Pow Wow, where he chose to announce his run for Vice chair."    David L Wells  Vice President River City Patriots / Tea Party Pow Wow organizer and Co-coordinator. / Former Kent Executive Committee member

 "So why does the Michigan Republican Party need an Ethnic Vice Chair, when we are the party that does not care about race, skin color or ethnicity? The answer is to counter the lies and propaganda of the Left and bring the truth to all the people!! So I enthusiastically endorse Mr. Darwin Jiles, Jr. for MI-GOP Ethnic Vice Chair! His story is compelling. His life is a wonderful example of beating the odds under tough circumstances, working hard and living the American Dream! He’s smart, dignified, hard working, handsome and scrappy! Republicans need him!! It is no secret that our outreach to minority communities has been poor. I fully believe he can do the job, so well, that one day he will make his job obsolete!! Darwin Jiles Jr. for Michigan Republican Ethnic Vice-Chair" Yours very truly," Isabelle Elise Terry ~ MI-GOP State Committee, Republican Precinct Delegate. 3rd District Committee co-chair. Former Kent Executive Committee member

Breaking former Congressman Kerry Bentivolio endorsement of Darwin Jiles Jr for Michigan GOP Ethnic Vice Chair:
"Darwin Jiles Jr and Flint Urban Culture is the name of his organization that is used to promote Conservative Values within the inner city. I just endorsed him for ethnic chair for the GOP and he did not write me a check for my endorsement. I learned after I endorsed him he was actually one of my volunteers during my campaign for re-election."  Kerry Bentivolio Former Congressman  MI 11th District  40 years U.S. Army,
Sgt. First Class Ret.

"Darwin Jiles Jr. is a true Christian Conservative, with a message and the abilities to deliver that message with the passion and street credibility to win the hearts and minds of the exact groups that we need to join the Republican party,...for the betterment of our State and Country."
Randy Bishop - Chairman Antrim County Republican Party

"New blood, fresh perspective, and ethical leadership is what's necessary for this position and we can't look at the recent past and see much in the way of progress in these areas,"  Schultz, "this said, I'm very glad to those of you who supported my own recent effort for MSU Trustee to strongly consider electing a NEW and VIBRANT conservative to this important position to help all Republicans across our great State.  Darwin has my enthusiastic support and I ask you for your vote on the floor as I've been 'shut out yet again' by Norm Shinkle to even be an alternate to the Convention.  Since I'm not there physically, I'll be there in spirit hoping you'll support Darwin for a positive change in this position.  Isn't it time we have a real conservative actually do some work instead of self-aggrandizement?' God Bless,"  Scott Schultz former Candidate MSU Trustee.

"When I first met Darwin, I was intrigued by his tenacity. I remember his desire for an American renewal and it was refreshing. As a tea party leader I am constantly searching for leader's of the next generation. I believe we have found one of those leaders in Darwin. I say this because he understands that doing what is right is not only necessary but it is a winning strategy. Because of this I believe Darwin will not only help grow the base, but he will help return the republican party to its platform."  Mark Petzold President MI Sons of Liberty Riders. President River City Patriots. 3rd District Committeeman. Founder The Awakening Ministry

"Confirmed Vote, Thank you for sending the video. Great message! I plan to vote for you at convention.God bless" Betty Precinct delegate.

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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