News from Progress Michigan

August 6, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot,

Is Dave Agema the Face of the Michigan Republican Party?

Right-Wing Extremists Continue to Find Comfort in Michigan GOP

MICHIGAN — Right-wing extremists will represent the Michigan Republican Party on the November ballot after enjoying support from RNC Committeeman and possible Lt. Governor nominee, Dave Agema.

Five right-wing candidates, Cindy Gamrat (80th District), Todd Courser (82nd House District), Gary Glenn (98thHouse District), Triston Cole (105th House District) and Lee Chatfield (107th House District), all made it through their respective Republican primaries. All five candidates have Agema’s support, a politcian who is well-known for his hate-filled anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT views.

“Candidates supported by Dave Agema won big last night and that definitely speaks to the direction of the Michigan Republican Party,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Despite the GOP establishment’s attempt to dismiss Agema’s extreme views, the fact remains that his out-of-touch policy positions continue to gain a foothold amongst conservatives in the state.”

Cindy Gamrat hosted a fundraiser featuring Agema as a speaker, who also endorsed her campaign. She is opposed to marriage equality and helped gather signatures for Michigan’s Rape Insurance law.

According to a July Facebook post, Agema endorsed Todd Courser “without reservation.” Courser made headlines recently when he claimed a charter school group was advancing the “homosexual agenda.”

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, a well-known anti-LGBT organizationsaid he supports criminalizing homosexuality:

“…we believe that states should be free to regulate and prohibit behavior that’s a violation of community standards and a proven threat to public health and safety — including, as most of the United States did throughout its history, homosexual behavior.”

Glenn also enjoyed an endorsement from Dave Agema.

In an endorsement announcement press release, Triston Cole said he was “honored and humbled to have the following endorsements,” which included Dave Agema.

A fundraising email for Lee Chatfield claimed that his primary opponent, Frank Foster, was towing the line for the “radical homosexual agenda” for indicating support for workplace protections for LGBT individuals that would protect them from being fired for being gay. Chatfield’s campaign also received an $800 donation from Dave Agema.

Agema’s extreme views earned scorn across the country including members of the GOP elite, peaking with Reince Priebus, the national committee chairman, calling for his resignation.

“When the Republican National Committee Chairman calls on someone like Agema to resign, only to have right-wing extremist candidates tout his endorsement of their campaign, it speaks volumes about the current state of your party,” Scott continued. “What we’re seeing is an open acceptance of extreme views like criminalizing homosexuality and draconian beliefs on women’s access to health care. The fact that these individuals are controlling our state government is very troubling.”


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