Straw Poll Eye Opener

Its already assumed by many within the Michigan Republican party that Governor Rick Snyder will essentially cruise to a win over a scandal ridden Schauer campaign.

wes-nakagiriWe have had a different take on it; essentially arguing ANYONE could beat Schauer, so why not have a robust primary on the GOP side?  Alas, as there are few who wish to spend money fighting both the candidate, AND risk being on the outs in the GOP in the future, we are relegated to the squishy liberal incumbent.

Someone HAS taken a cue from the weakness of the establishment in the supporting organization however.  When challenger Todd Courser came within a couple dozen votes to oust sitting MiGOP chair Bobby Schostak in a prior convention, it sent a message that a shakeup is in the works.  By the time the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference had happened, no challenger had yet appeared to depose Snyder, but a contender willing to stand before Republican Delegates in 2014 and challenge Sitting Lt Governor Brian Calley had made it clear he was in it to the end.

Wes Nakagiri announced his candidacy, and the Snyder Calley folks took him seriously.

So much so, that a reserved reception room for a planned Wes Nakagiri function on the island became mysteriously ‘unavailable’ at the last minute, resulting in the ‘Yes-Wes’ group to find alternative accommodations with only hours to do so.

Now Nakagiri is getting some in-your-face tools to use to point out that he is not only credible, but probable as an agent of change in the MiGOP political machine.  His campaign has released a statement of a significant win in ‘Calley friendly’ territory.

Nakagiri wins GOP Straw Poll

In the first straw poll of 2014, challenger Wes Nakagiri defeated incumbent Brian Calley by a margin of 52 to 48%.  Nakagiri, a conservative activist from Hartland, Michigan is seeking to become the Republican nominee for the office of Lieutenant Governor.

The straw poll was conducted by the Republican Party’s 12th Congressional District Committee during their February 19 fundraiser held in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.  Several GOP leaders were in attendance including Mr. Bill Runco, Chair of the 12th Congressional District Committee, Mr. Bobby Schostak, Chair of the Michigan Republican Party, and Ms. Linda Lee Tarver, Ethnic Vice-Chair for the Michigan Republican Party.  Staff members from Lieutenant Governor Calley’s office and Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office were also present.  Nakagiri says:

“I couldn’t be happier with the results.  The results of this poll are a strong indication that my message is resonating with the voters.” 

Nakagiri is running on the message of adhering to the Republican Party’s platform.  He frequently points out the need for the party to stand up and support its own platform, especially protecting future generations from out-of-control spending.  He also advocates that his own party follow its resolution against the implementation of Common Core Curriculum, saying

“We have an opportunity to attract young people to our party if we advocate for issues that are important to their future.”

A great point underscored by this release, is that even with the presumed strength of establishment GOP in-the-room, the results showed push back. Nakagiri, an engineering manager at PPG Industries Inc., and who has never run for public office before, has garnered enough support to upset the presumably established ‘status quo.’

In other districts where Snyder/Calley are less popular, would the results be even more pronounced?

Admittedly, I have not until this point seen the campaign to be worth the time, but given the probability of Snyder Part-II, and what we have suggested is a desire for DC by the benevolent Nerd, it might make all the difference necessary to stop a runaway progressive platform from the Michigan Republican flag bearer.  Others who feel similarly might offer support as the upcoming primary and following convention decides who might be the junior partner in “Team Snyder.”

While a straw poll is hardly an absolute indicator of support, it DOES have some merit in such a politically volatile environment. 

This is one race which is starting to wake up.


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  3 comments for “Straw Poll Eye Opener

  1. Republican Michigander
    February 20, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I've known Wes since he became active. If nothing else, he's organized. He has a plan. He knows what he's doing. I think Wes has a shot IF the tea party groups unite. As of now, I don't see that happening. Too much of a split between "alliance" factions and what I'll call the "Courser" factions for lack of a better word.

    Right now, both sides are looking at the precinct delegate positions. That's the voting pool. I've been called by both sides.

    For the record, I'm staying neutral. My stance is that I'm backing the hardest working candidate unless I get targeted for defeat as a precinct delegate (then all bets are off). There's things I like and dislike that I've seen from both camps, but that's usual for me.

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  2. Kevin
    February 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    To be perfectly honest, I'm not sold on Wes, at least not yet. And I know enough about polling (far more than my critics give me credit for) to know that a straw poll is, by its very nature, unreliable.

    In my opinion, a credible L.G. candidate should:

    - have prior legislative experience
    - have prior executive experience
    - be credible within the party’s legislative caucus (both chambers)
    - be credible within the State Senate (both parties)
    - be credible within the party establishment
    - be credible with the party’s precinct delegate network and grassroots activists
    - be credible with the party’s coalition partners

    . . . and the degree to which Mr. Nakagiri convinces me he can carry that checklist is the degree to which he can convince me to vote for him. However, I have more immediate concerns than how I'm going to vote on this question at the State Convention. Until after the filing deadline, this one isn't going to be much more than a side-burner item for me.

    And I fully agree with Dan, in that until the various factions of the constitutionalist insurgency can quit biting each other's arses, the better-organized establishment will win every time.

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    • February 21, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      On a couple of those points perhaps. While legislative experience from a procedural point of view might be useful, there are a number of them who are still dumb as rocks even after a full complement of terms.

      And frankly, if someone is smart enough to run the State Senate, but dumb enough to promote liberty stealing plans like mandated insurance parameters, then they are still not needed.

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