Monday, September 10, 2012
On Saturday, virtually every candidate running for a spot on the November ballot was conservative, and the most conservative candidates won almost every single time. (The only slot that was arguably not won by the most conservative candidate was Supreme Court, but only time will tell on that one.)
Perhaps the most telling was the race for State Board of Education. Three candidates were vying for two spots on the ballot. In that race, Melanie Kurdys and Todd Courser embarrassed the incumbent by capturing more than twice as many votes from the delegates. Both Todd and Melanie made it clear that they had very conservative positions on the issues. They showed that a true conservative isn't just pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-second amendment. They stood firmly on the side of local control and fiscal restraint. They were not afraid to say the parents need to be the primary educators, not the government, and that throwing money at education is not the solution.
The results from Saturday were the continuation of a trend. In May, Dave Agema, another "take-no-prisoners" conservative defeated the incumbent "old guard" National Committeeman by a greater than three-to-one margin.
Was it the "tea-party" that won these stunning victories? You bet it was, but what needs to be understood by party leadership is that this is no longer a bunch of upstarts and novices flexing their muscles, this is a staunchly conservative group of Republicans who have installed themselves as the majority in the party, and they are not going away.
In many county conventions, efforts were made by the status quo to hold the "tea-partiers" off, to prevent their appointments as delegates, and in many cases, the status quo achieved some success. But, in spite of that, the constitutional conservatives held sway. As a stark example, in the 6th district, where the leadership is mostly controlled by the old guard, the "upstart" Cindy Gamrat, who founded the "Michigan for a Conservative Senate" won the election for presidential elector against a longtime party faithful who everyone assumed would be the 6th district's choice for elector.
In my humble opinion, state party leadership has been put on notice, the constitutional conservative flank is now a force to be reckoned with and come next February, when district and state leadership are elected, they better be listening.
Posted by Jack Hoogendyk at 8:55 AM