Michigan Republican Party

Michigan Republican Party
Chairman Ronald Weiser
Governor Rick Snyder
Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
Speaker of the House Tom Leonard
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof
National Committeepersons Rob Steele, Kathy Berden
Founded July 6, 1854 (1854-07-06), in Jackson, Michigan
Headquarters Secchia-Weiser Republican Center, 520 N. Seymour St., Lansing, Michigan
Student wing Michigan Federation of College Republicans
Youth wing Michigan Young Republicans
Michigan Teen Age Republicans
Women's wing Republican Women's Federation of Michigan
Ideology Majority:
  Economic liberalism[2]
  Social conservatism[4]
  Right-wing populism[9][10]
National affiliation Republican Party
Colors      Red
27 / 38
House of Representatives
64 / 110
U.S. Senate
0 / 2
U.S. House of Representatives
9 / 14
Official Website

The Michigan Republican Party is the state affiliate of the national Republican Party in Michigan. It is sometimes referred to as MIGOP, which simply means Michigan Grand Old Party. Former United States Ambassador to Slovakia Ronald Weiser is the current Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.[11]

Ronna Romney McDaniel was the chairwoman of the party, having been elected in 2015 by delegates to the Republican State Convention. McDaniel is now the Republican National Committee Chairwoman.[12]

The Michigan Republican Party hosts a biennial political conference at the Mackinac Island Grand Hotel called the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference. The event features notable national Republicans, Senators, Governors, and presidential candidates.[13]

History and notable Michigan Republicans

The Republican Party was born in the early 1850s by anti-slavery activists and individuals who believed that government should grant western lands to settlers free of charge. The first official Republican meeting took place on July 6, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan with David S. Walbridge serving as chairman. The name "Republican" was chosen because it alluded to equality and reminded individuals of Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party. At the Jackson convention, the new party adopted a platform and nominated candidates for office in Michigan.

In 1856, the Republicans became a national party when John C. Fremont was nominated for president of the United States under the "Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men, Fremont" slogan. Even though they were considered a "third party" because the Democrats and Whigs represented the two-party system at the time, Fremont received 33 percent of the vote. Four years later, Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican to win the White House.

Republicans have been elected to the governorship of Michigan in 27 of 48 gubernatorial elections. The first was Kingsley Bingham in 1855 and the most recent is Rick Snyder, who was elected in 2010, and then re-elected in 2014.

Following the 2016 election and Reince Priebus' selection to be White House Chief of Staff, Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel became Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. Then President-elect Trump recommended McDaniel in December 2016 to replace Priebus.[14] She was officially elected as RNC chair on January 19, 2017, becoming the second woman to hold the post in RNC history, after Mary Louise Smith.[15]

Current elected Republicans in Michigan

Members of Congress

U.S. House of Representatives

The Republican Party currently holds a 9-5 majority of Michigan's U.S. House delegation:


Michigan Legislature

United States Cabinet Members from Michigan who served under a Republican President

The following are in order of Presidential succession.

Name Cabinet Position Years Served President(s) served under
Charles Erwin Wilson Secretary of Defense 1953-57 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Zachariah Chandler Secretary of the Interior 1875-77 Ulysses S. Grant
Roy Dikeman Chapin Secretary of Commerce 1932-33 Herbert Hoover
Frederick H. Mueller Secretary of Commerce 1959-61 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Governor George W. Romney Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 1969-73 Richard Nixon
Spencer Abraham Secretary of Energy 2001-05 George W. Bush
Betsy DeVos Secretary of Education 2017- Donald Trump
Governor Russell A. Alger Secretary of War obsolete 1897-99 William McKinley
Truman H. Newberry Secretary of the Navy obsolete 1908-09 Theodore Roosevelt
Edwin C. Denby Secretary of the Navy obsolete 1921-24 Warren G. Harding & Calvin Coolidge
Arthur E. Summerfield Postmaster General obsolete 1953-61 Dwight D. Eisenhower

Michigan Republican State Committee

The Michigan Republican State Committee is the state central committee of the Michigan Republican Party. It is composed of seven members from each of Michigan's fifteen Congressional district Republican committees, the Chairman, Co-Chairman, the various Vice Chairmen of the Party, and the Secretary, Treasurer and General and Financial Counsels. It selects Michigan's two representatives to the Republican National Committee. Additionally, the Chairperson of each County Republican Party organization is a non-voting ex officio member of the State Committee.

Current Leadership

  • Ron Weiser - Chairman
  • Amanda Van Essen Wirth - Co-Chair
  • Kathy Berden - National Committeewoman
  • Dr. Rob Steele - National Committeeman
  • Gerry Hildenbrand - Administrative Vice Chair
  • Kevin Tatulyan - Coalitions Vice Chair
  • Terris Todd - Ethnic Vice Chair
  • Mark Gurley - Grassroots Vice Chair
  • Benjamin J. Soltis - Outreach Vice Chair
  • Michael Banerian - Youth Vice Chair
First DistrictSecond DistrictThird DistrictFourth DistrictFifth District
Jeff LambKurt Van KoeveringKim YobJoan JacksonLutullus Penton
Linda BirgelJack HolmesMandy BolterFlorence "Bobbie" ConnollyPrudy Adam
Beverly BodemPaul LeidigAndrew EmmittKim EmmonsAmy Carl
John HaggardJanice McCranerRichard HouskampMaxine McClellandDavid Krueger
John NiemelaJuanita PiermanEileen McNeilSteve RudoniJeremy Clontz
Mary SearsJoan RunnelsWilliam WomerEric St. OngeChristine Young
Anthony StackpooleBob SpringsteadSharon YentschGerald WallAllen Pool

Chairmen of the Michigan Republican State Committee

Name Residence Years Served
Joseph Warren Detroit 1854–1855
James M. Edmunds Detroit 1855–1861
E.C. Walker Detroit 1861–1862
William Alanson Howard[16] Detroit 1862–1868
Governor John J. Bagley[17] Detroit 1868–1870
Stephen D. Bingham Lansing 1870–1878
George H. Hopkins Detroit 1878
Zachariah Chandler[18] Detroit 1878–1879
James McMillan[19] Detroit 1879–1880
Governor Henry P. Baldwin[20] Detroit 1880–1882
Edward S. Lacey Charlotte 1882–1884
Philip T. Van Zile Charlotte 1884–1886
James McMillan Detroit 1886–1888
George H. Hopkins Detroit 1888–1890
James McMillan Detroit 1890–1896
Dexter M. Ferry Detroit 1896–1898
Arthur M. Marsh Allegan 1898–1900
Gerrit J. Diekema[21] Holland 1900–1910
W.F. Knox Sault Ste. Marie 1910–1912
Governor Alex Groesbeck[22] Detroit 1912–1914
Gilman M. Dame Northport 1914–1916
John D. Mangum Marquette 1916–1918
Burt D. Cady Port Huron 1919–1925
Kennedy L. Potter Jackson 1925–1927
Gerrit J. Diekema Holland 1927–1929
Howard C. Lawrence Ionia and Saginaw 1929–1937
James F. Thomson Jackson 1937–1940
Leslie B. Butler Lansing 1940–1942
John R. Dethmers[23] Holland 1942–1945
John A. Wagner Battle Creek 1945–1949
Owen Cleary[24] Ypsilanti 1949–1953
John Feikens[25] Detroit 1953–1957
Lawrence Lindemer Stockbridge 1957–1961
George Van Peursem Zeeland 1961–1963
Arthur G. Elliott, Jr. Birmingham 1963–1965
Elly M. Peterson[26] Charlotte 1965–1969
William F. McLaughlin Northville 1969–1979
Melvin L. Larson Oxford 1979–1983
E. Spencer Abraham[27] East Lansing 1983–1991
David J. Doyle Okemos 1991–1995
Susy Heintz (Avery) Clinton Township 1995–1996
Elisabeth "Betsy" DeVos[28] Grand Rapids 1996–2000
Gerald "Rusty" Hills[29] East Lansing 2000–2003
Elisabeth "Betsy" DeVos Grand Rapids 2003–2005
Saulius "Saul" Anuzis Lansing 2005–2009
Ron Weiser[30] Ann Arbor 2009–2011
Robert "Bobby" Schostak Oakland County 2011–2015
Ronna Romney McDaniel Northville 2015–2017
Ron Weiser[30] Ann Arbor 2017–present


  1. Paul Gottfried, Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right, p. 9, "Postwar conservatives set about creating their own synthesis of free-market capitalism, Christian morality, and the global struggle against Communism." (2009); Gottfried, Theologies and moral concern (1995) p. 12.
  2. "Laissez-faire capitalism and economic liberalism". Jstor.com. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  3. "A Rebirth of Constitutional Government". GOP. May 25, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  4. "No Country for Old Social Conservatives?". Thecrimson.com. Nair. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  5. Devine, Donald (April 16, 2015). "A New Birth of Fusionism". The American Conservative.
  6. Goldberg, Jonah (November 5, 2015). "Fusionism, 60 Years Later". National Review.
  7. 1 2 Miller, William J. (2013). The 2012 Nomination and the Future of the Republican Party. Lexington Books. p. 39.
  8. Schneider, Gregory (2003). Conservatism in America Since 1930: A Reader. NYU Press. p. 387.
  9. Cassidy, John (February 29, 2016). "Donald Trump is Transforming the G.O.P. Into a Populist, Nativist Party". The New Yorker.
  10. Gould, J.J. (July 2, 2016). "Why Is Populism Winning on the American Right?". The Atlantic.
  11. "Ron Weiser takes over as Michigan Republican Party Chairman". MLive.com. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  12. "Ronna Romney McDaniel tapped to be new RNC chair". POLITICO. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  13. "About | Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference". Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  14. "Trump names Michigan's Ronna Romney McDaniel RNC chair". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  15. "Ronna Romney McDaniel tapped to be new RNC chair". POLITICO. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  16. William Alanson Howard later became U. S. Representative for the Michigan's 1st congressional district (1855-59), (1860-61) and Governor of Dakota Territory (1878–1880)
  17. John J. Bagley later served as Governor of Michigan (1873–1877)
  18. Zachariah Chandler had previously been Mayor of Detroit (1851–1852), U. S. Senator (Class 1) from Michigan (1857–1875, 1879) U. S. Secretary of the Interior (1875–77) and simultaneously Chairman of the Republican National Committee (1876-79)
  19. James McMillan was also a U. S. Senator (Class 2) from Michigan (1889–1902)
  20. Henry P. Baldwin had previously served as Governor of Michigan (1869–1873) and United States Senator (Class 1) from Michigan (1879–1881)
  21. Gerrit J. Diekema had also been U. S. Representative for the Michigan's 5th congressional district (1907–1911)
  22. Alex Groesbeck was later Michigan Attorney General (1917–1920) and Governor of Michigan (1921–1927)
  23. John R. Dethmers was later Michigan Attorney General (1945–1946)
  24. Owen Cleary was later Michigan Secretary of State (1953–1954)
  25. John Feikens is currently Senior Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (since 1986)
  26. Elly M. Peterson was the first woman to serve as chairman of any official state party.
  27. E. Spencer Abraham later became U. S. Senator from Michigan (1995—2001) and U. S. Secretary of Energy (2001–2005)
  28. Elisabeth "Betsy" DeVos is the wife of 2006 Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos
  29. Gerald "Rusty" Hills is currently the spokesman for Michigan Attorney General candidate Bill Schuette.
  30. 1 2 Ron Weiser is a former United States Ambassador to Slovakia, appointed by George W. Bush in November 2001 and served until December 2004.
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