News from Progress Michigan

January 21, 2021

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Progress Michigan Joins Calls for Resignation of County Commissioner Who Brandished Weapon During a Public Meeting  

MICHIGAN –– On Wednesday morning, Vice Chair of the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners Ron Clous got up and brandished an AR-style rifle during an online board meeting, while a concerned citizen gave public comment about the Proud Boys.

After a constituent called upon the board to disavow the Proud Boys and their violent actions, Clous rose from his chair, grabbed the rifle somewhere off camera, and displayed it on camera for the meeting attendees to see. As this happened, Chair of the Board Rob Hentschel smirked. 

The Proud Boys is a group that is tied to Neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups. They played a key role in the violent mob that took siege on the U.S. Capitol January 6. After the meeting last night, Clous spoke about an earlier meeting that took place between him and a group of Proud Boys, describing them as “decent guys.” 

“This was clearly an attempt to silence and intimidate. Commission vice chair Ron Clous, by brandishing a weapon, issued a threat to his constituents, “ said Betsy Coffia, a Grand Traverse County Commissioner.“Violent, right-wing militants like the Proud Boys are a threat to our community and others across Michigan. What Clous did compounds the risk and threats of violence to our communities. There needs to be accountability when an elected official brandishes a weapon as a means to intimidate, just like if someone were to do this on the street. The people of Grand Traverse County deserve better and Mr. Clous needs to be held accountable. Like so many across our community, I understand what it means to grow up around responsible gun owners. Mr. Clous is not one of them.”

Progress Michigan is joining Grand Traverse County residents in calling for his resignation. 

“This moment made a few things crystal clear: Ron Clous is not a responsible gun owner, Ron Clous attempted to intimidate a member of the public, Ron Clous is not fit to serve,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “He needs to resign or be removed from his position.”

The full meeting can be viewed here