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More than one person has mentioned the growing sense among state Republicans that Michigan GOP chair Ron Weiser is taking the role of kingmaker to new heights. Examples include the story making the rounds about one former Republican lawmaker who was looking at running for U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, who has held the seat since 2000, but was supposedly told “we have a strong candidate” – former Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Robert Young. As the tale goes, Weiser and Ronna Romney McDaniel, Republican National Committee chair, have anointed Young, so don’t bother. Says one observer: “Weiser’s the same guy who said it’s Terri Lynn Land,” referring to the former Michigan Secretary of State who lost big to Senator Gary Peters (D) in 2014. “Weiser is great at fundraising – but not at picking candidates.” The only other Republican currently in the race is John James, a West Point grad and African American Iraqi war vet, who is now a Farmington businessman, after Lena Epstein bailed for the 11th congressional race. Speculation is that western Michigan congressman Fred Upton (St. Joseph) will jump in, especially since former Michigan Republican Party chair Bobby Schostak is working him hard, and he raised over a half-million dollars in the last quarter, although most of the money came from political action committees.


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