Tea party activists say they'll withhold support from Snyder's re-election bid

Jun 11, 2013

Governor Snyder - file photo
Credit WMUK


Several tea-party activists in Michigan are urging conservatives to sit out Governor Snyder's bid for re-election next year.  Updated with Gongwer News Service Publisher John Lindstrom

The group Grassroots in Michigan released an open letter to the governor Tuesday morning. It criticizes Snyder's decision to bring in Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to try and convince state lawmakers to approve an expansion of Medicaid. Snyder supports expanding Medicaid, as allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act. 

Gongwer News Service Publisher John Lindstrom told WMUK's Gordon Evans that tea party groups have not been happy with some of Governor Snyder's positions. But Lindstrom says Snyder's stance on the federal Affordable Care Act has been an especially contentious issue. He says this letter could be a final shot at trying to defeat Medicaid expansion in the state.  Snyder has been supporting the extension of health care coverage under Medicaid, which is allowed under the Affordable Care Act.  (Lindstrom also blogged about the tea party's opposition to some of Governor Snyder's agenda.)

The letter from tea party activists says expanding Medicaid would expand government and would not serve the state's residents well. The letter says conservatives should not help Governor Snyder get re-elected in 2014. The letter is signed by several conservative activists, including Gene Clem of the Kalamazoo-based Southwest Michigan Patriots. Lindstrom says Clem's signature is significant because he has worked with establishment Republicans, and supported state Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak when he faced a tough re-election fight earlier this year. 

Lindstrom says a lack of enthusiasm among conservatives could hurt Governor Snyder's re-election bid next year. He says there has been some talk about a primary challenge against Governor Snyder. But Linstrom says any candidate who was thinking about running against the governor in a Republican primary would have to show some support and money behind them. 

Grassroots in Michigan founder Joan Fabiano told Gongwer News Service (subscription required) that the groups hopes that the letter will prompt the Legislature to reject Medicaid expansion. She says they also hope to prompt someone to run against Snyder for the Republican nomination, or inspire the governor not to seek re-election.