The specter of previous conventions hung over last Saturday's Michigan Republican State Convention, where an incumbent office-holder such as Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley of Portland losing his position seemed like a distinct possibility. History was on the side of an upset.For the first time this decade, the GOP convention didn't include a successful RINO hunt. Darn.
In 2010, incumbent Michigan State University Trustee Don Nugent failed to be re-nominated at that year's convention. Incumbents were turned out twice at conventions in 2012. First, State Representative Dave Agema replaced Saul Anuzis as Michigan's representative to the Republican National Committee. Then, incumbent State Board of Education Member Nancy Danhof lost her seat at the 2012 convention. Finally, the 2013 convention featured a leadership struggle in which Michigan GOP Chair Bobby Schostak narrowly retained his office against a Tea Party insurgency led by Todd Courser.
Nothing like that came to pass at this year's convention, as Calley's rival Wes Nakagiri of Hartland moved to have Calley re-nominated for Lieutenant Governor by unanimous acclamation, so that the Michigan Republicans can “unite and defeat the Democrats” as quoted by the Detroit Free Press. All the other incumbent office holders chosen at the convention from Attorney General and Secretary of State to Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court were also renominated unanimously.
The second was Michigan Democrats nominate candidates at 2014 convention.
The Michigan Democratic Party ended their two-day convention in Lansing on a high note after a first day that evoked one of Will Rogers' best remembered sayings about politics; he was not a member of any organized political party, he was a Democrat.The news here was that there was an attempt to thwart the nomination of a judge whose credentials as a social liberal were suspect at the same time the party nominated someone known for defending reproductive rights, Lisa Brown. In the end, the party proved to be a big enough tent for both of them.
On Sunday, all of the candidates nominated at the convention, from Lieutenant Governor down to Supreme Court Justice, ran unopposed and were approved unanimously.
In contrast, Saturday's proceedings saw a protest of one Supreme Court Justice over his views on reproductive choice as well as a contested vote for Wayne State University Governor and a delayed and poorly attended vote for State Board of Education.
Speaking of big tents, what do you see in this photo of the Democratic nominees from Sunday?
What about this analogous picture of the Republican nominees on Saturday?
I'll leave the answers as an exercise for the reader.