Michigan Speaker of the House Tom Leonard and State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker are vying to be Michigan’s next Attorney General.
An August 2018 GOP State Convention will determine the Republican nominee for AG.
On Tuesday, Leonard shared the endorsement of Monroe County Commissioner Greg Moore on his Facebook page. Sharing endorsements via social media is a common strategy for convention candidates.
But what Schuitmaker did next is anything but common, and has many Michigan precinct delegates in complete disbelief. She wrote a comment on Leonard’s post Wednesday morning that reads, “Both Randy and Jason say not to worry bc he does not control delegates.”
Leonard replied to his opponent by saying “Our Republican Party has been blessed with amazing grassroots activists. If not for their hard work, we wouldn’t have carried Michigan for our president Donald J. Trump or have a 63 seat majority in the House. I have way too much respect and faith in our hardworking delegates than to believe any of them are “controlled” by anyone.”
Rather than replying to Leonard and explaining herself, Schuitmaker decided to immediately delete her comment. Luckily, some upset delegates were able to get a few screenshots first.
To make matters even worse for Schuitmaker, the profile picture indicates that the comment came from her own personal account rather than her public page, which will make it difficult for her to blame it on staff.
It’s unlikely Michigan delegates will give her a pass on this one. They should demand an explanation and apology as it shows a complete lack of respect for individual delegates and the system itself.
Schuitmaker’s track record is more in line with the Republican establishment than grassroots. But this is the first time we’ve seen her publicly attack a grassroots activist.
GOP consultant Stu Sandler summed it up well in his own Facebook post this morning. “I have seen a lot of things in convention races over the years. I have never seen one candidate openly discredit another candidate’s endorsement until now. Terrible move here by Tonya Schuitmaker. Tom Leonard posted an endorsement by Monroe activist Greg Moore. Greg might not be the biggest power broker on the convention floor or even in Monroe. But he is a good Republican and I would be proud to have his support if I was running for something. Not sure 2,000 delegates want to be evaluated by Tonya Schuitmaker openly on how many delegates they bring to convention. But I guess that’s the joys of social media.”