Michigan GOP selects Hillsdale County delegate slate after infighting

HILLSDALE, Mich. — There is infighting within the Hillsdale County Republican Party. After denying entry to at least 60 delegates at their August convention, the party submitted two lists of delegates to the state to see who they would choose to sit at the state convention, and now, the GOP of the state intervened.

In a statement released by the Michigan GOP, they said the Hillsdale County party leadership violated August 2022 rules by barring duly elected precinct delegates from attending the Hillsdale County Convention on 11 august.

One of those disavowed delegates was County Commissioner Brent Leininger. He told FOX 47 News that in an email notifying delegates if they were to report to Sozo Church for the convention, they would all be charged with criminal trespass.

“I purely believe that they are trying to dictate and control the future of the Hillsdale County Republican Executive Committee and the Hillsdale County Republican Party without the input and activity of those with whom they disagree. on some issues,” Leininger said.

But, according to executive committee secretary Jon Smith, they were doing this to protect the party. He says the committee believes the county clerk’s office turned down precinct delegate applications for the August primary in an effort to keep others out.

We contacted Hillsdale County Clerk Marney Kast for a response to these allegations.

“When we had the opportunity to review the filed documents, many were misfiled and had to be removed before the ballot was scheduled,” Kast said. “When someone wants to come to any office, they have to do some research to find out what forms need to be filed and what is the deadline for filing. They should also realize that every empty line or circle on the form will need to be filled. We are doing what we can to help, but many of the applicants’ forms were incomplete and letters have been sent to let them know. A number of them were found and notified after the filing deadline, as we did not detect their errors immediately when filing them.

Smith says they are doing this to protect their party’s values.

“By doing disavowals, these people that you see on this list that we have disavowed, the majority of this list, not one of them, participates in the Republican Party,” he said. “None of them are involved, none of them have organized a parade, none of them have even attended a meeting. They do not participate in the Republican Party. This was all about trying to get the leadership of the Republican Party out of the way right now. »

The purpose of the convention was to compile a list of 13 names of delegates to attend the Republican Party of Michigan’s nominating convention on Saturday.

The 61 disavowed delegates from the precinct gathered outside the convention in a parking lot across the street and conducted the same business that was going on inside the church in Sozo , elected Leininger as permanent president, elected a permanent secretary, and followed proper procedures for the conduct of a convention. , according to MIGOP. They say the minutes were submitted to the Michigan GOP with a list of 13 delegates and 13 alternates.

But the Hillsdale Republican Party, chaired by Daren Wiseley, has also submitted a list of delegates and alternates. According to the Michigan Republican Party, this list was in violation of the 10% Republican worker rule, which is an effort to recognize Republicans who may not be precinct delegates. Of the 13 delegates submitted, only five were constituency delegates, and of 13 alternates, only four were constituency delegates.

Republican Hillsdale County officials have acknowledged that preventing elected delegates from being seated would invalidate the convention.

“My goal is for the executive committee to continue to work with all Republicans in the county, to achieve all aspects of conservatism, to advance a government that is more responsive to the people, that is closer to the people, and that is the right size to appropriately serve the citizens of the county,” Leininger said.

The State Party Credentials Committee welcomes delegates and alternates submitted by Leininger to the Michigan Republican Nominating Convention on August 27.

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