Hartland, MI - Wes Nakagiri, a TEA Party leader from Hartland, Michigan, announced today that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor in 2014. The founder of RetakeOurGov, Nakagiri has submitted his Statement of Organization to the Bureau of Elections, the first step in forming his campaign committee.
“I am running to bring a conservative voice to the current Lansing administration. Having a grassroots conservative on the 2014 ticket will energize the base of the GOP to come out and work hard on its behalf. This energy and enthusiasm will pay dividends up and down the ballot,” said Nakagiri.
It is widely known that a majority in the Republican Party are at odds with major policy initiatives being pushed by the current administration. “TEA Party Republicans, conservative Republicans, traditional Republicans, and libertarian-leaning Republicans are strongly opposed to the proposed expansion of Medicaid and proposed increase in the gasoline tax,” Nakagiri noted. “The sentiment among many segments of the GOP is having a conservative, freedom-minded individual in Lansing would be beneficial from both a policy and a political point of view,” continued Nakagiri.
Nakagiri went on to say, “The expansion of Medicaid is a particular sore spot with many Republicans. There is no doubt that the expansion of Medicaid is a key component of Obamacare. Indeed, this expansion is directly at odds with the Republican Party platform. Many in the party are disillusioned that our executive leadership is going against a key plank in our platform.”
Building on this point Nakagiri added, “Violating the platform is analogous to breaking a contract with the Republican voter. Our word should be our bond. When I’m elected as Lieutenant Governor I will not sit passively by when Republican Party leadership promotes legislation that does not coincide with the party’s stated vision. I will be an outspoken advocate for following the United States Constitution, the Michigan Constitution, and the Republican Platform.”
Nakagiri will be in Lansing this week to urge Senators to vote against the expansion of Medicaid. A close vote is expected, perhaps even a 19-19 tie. In the case of a tie the Lieutenant Governor would cast the tie-breaking vote. To this Nakagiri said, “I can guarantee that if I were the Lieutenant Governor I would be voting against expansion. It is mind-boggling to many that we as a society would even think about piling more debt on the backs of future generations. We really need to focus on expanding freedom, not government.”
More information about Wes Nakagiri is available at his campaign website, www.WesYes.com.
This is a little bit less conventional than challenging Snyder in a primary. Traditionally, Lt was just chosen by the governor, and was usually a state senator, as the Lt Gov is president of the senate and a tiebreaking vote.
I'm reading three things from this.
1. Wes is trying to put pressure on the legislature to stop Medicaid expansion. That's his big issue. There are others as well, but that's generated a lot of heat. He would not have announced this now if the issue isn't a major one with grassroots.
2. Wes wants the tie-breaking vote if applicable. Is that a big deal? It can be. The pension tax was a tiebreaking vote.
3. Wes wants the tea party to have more party influence. Wes will accomplish this just by running.
Most people don't know how the Lt Governor is elected. It's usually a formality. The governor has his person, and the state delegates confirm it. Can Wes beat Calley? Yes. There's a way he can do it.
How is this done?
It starts before May next year. People file and run for precinct delegate. What Wes will be doing is to recruit people to run for precinct delegate in the 2014 primary. Historically, precinct delegate positions have been unopposed in Livingston County. That will likely not be the case next year. In Oakland, there's been contests in most areas for years.
In August, we will be voting for precinct delegates in the primary along with many major partisan races like Governor, Senator, State Senate, State House, and County Commissioners.
The precinct delegate candidates who win will be invited to a county convention soon afterward where delegates to state convention will vote on the nominees for Lt Governor (Calley, Wes, or someone else), Attorney General, Secretary of State, Supreme Court (although not other courts), and university trustees.
After that is the general election, but there's another important election after the major elections - the party leadership elections. There will first be a county party leadership election for executive committee and the officers. There will then be another county convention that elects delegates to state convention where district and state party leadership is elected.
Are the precinct delegate positions important? Absolutely, since that is where the voter pool comes from for these offices. I expect them to get a lot more attention in more areas than they are used to getting. Some of us might have to run an actual campaign now.