GUEST COLUMN: Dems to Republicans: Pick on somebody your own size

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The Livingston County Republican Party is acting like a bunch of bullies by threatening to do all it can to defeat a 21-year-old college student who has filed to run in the Republican primary for Green Oak Township Clerk.

I have some news for Meghan Reckling. The executive committee of the Livingston County Republican Party does not get to choose who runs in Republican primaries. And here’s another news flash — that seat isn’t being “stolen” by Devin Steele. It doesn’t belong to the Republican Party. It belongs to the voters of Green Oak Township.

Devin Steele isn’t the first alleged Democrat to run as a Republican. A few years ago, a Hamburg Democrat gave up her Democratic values to run as a Republican so she could win a seat as a Hamburg Township trustee. Several times, our candidates have been approached by Republicans after running strong races and urged to switch parties. Apparently, Republicans have no problem with Democrats running as Republicans when it suits them.

In this case, Devin’s candidacy means that a Republican will actually have to campaign for the party’s nomination. Apparently, that’s too much work so they have chosen to try to bully a 21-year-old college student whose total political contributions throughout his entire life barely total $500 given $1 and $2 at a time. Republican bullies need to stop attacking this young kid who decided to exercise his rights in our democracy. Go pick on somebody your own size.

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About Judy Daubenmier 12 Articles
Judy Daubenmier, a resident of Genoa Township, is chair of the Livingston County Democratic Party.


  1. If the Republicans don’t want to help this young man out, maybe the Democrats should step up and support him in some way. Especially since he’s independent minded and pragmatic, I would totally donate to him, and Democrats and independents should, too

  2. “Political parties don’t usually get involved in primaries.” Which, I guess, is why the national Democratic Party stayed neutral in the 2016 race between Clinton and Sanders….

    • Really don’t remember them passing a resolution vowing to do everything they could to defeat Sanders. Reckling’s response was over the top.

    • I really can not recall the last time I have seen a Republican have an election sign done in red with the Republican elephant on it or a Democratic sign done in blue with the Denocratic donkey on it here in Livingston county.

      I do not believe Mike Sedlak is in any trouble with young Devin running against him. It is a David versus Goliath in Green Oak and the Goliaths have been winning consistently.

  3. I think a person who is a Democrat or Republican should be honest enough to register in the party he believes in. This registering as something they are not is dishonest and I’m tired of the arguing and infighting in both parties. Please, if you’re a Republican register as one and if you’re a Democrat. register as one.

  4. I fail to see the bullying of which you speak here. I see information regarding someone’s recent political beliefs being brought into the light, which is especially important for voters to know, especially when they seem to run counter to the way a majority of that areas voters historically have voted. When you run for a political office, any record of your past beliefs are fair game. You don’t get special treatment because you are young. Did you insist everyone be extra nice to Joe Hune in 2002 because he was only 22? How about Chris Ward? It is indeed commendable that this young man has chosen to become involved in politics, however, when you have donated to democratic campaigns or causes 39 times by age 21, regardless of the amount, it tends to suggest you have democrat leanings, and should run as a Democrat. Do you see any irony in your statement, “a Hamburg Democrat gave up her Democratic values to run as a Republican so she could win a seat as a Hamburg Township trustee?” If you can’t win election by running on your own values, perhaps they do not represent the values of those you are asking to vote for you, and you should not be representing them. They have a right to know your true beliefs, not what you tell them so you can get elected. I’m pretty sure said democrat has likely rediscovered her democratic values in the votes she has cast since winning election, much the same as a certain clerk in another Livingston county Township who did the same thing.

    • No one from the Republican Party reached out to this young man to ask him why he was running as a Republican and what he believed. The party adopted its resolution attacking him without any notice to him or opportunity to respond. Political parties don’t usually get involved in primaries. They let the candidates fight it out, but they wouldn’t even let this candidate make his own case before attacking him.

      • In the social media era, it’s not overly difficult to assess one’s beliefs. Political donations and prior primary ballots pulled are also a pretty good indicator. All very easy information to obtain. If postings and comments suggest he is not Republican, and he has donated disproportionately to Democrat causes and candidates, and if he has pulled Democrat primary ballots in the past, he is likely a democrat and should run as one. You admitted yourself local candidates have lied about their party affiliation recently so they could get elected, so it behooves parties to be on the lookout for such candidates as you very well know when it comes to local candidates, in general elections, too many voters just look for an R or a D and often don’t even know the candidates or their policy positions. If the label isn’t close to the reality, I would say the local party in question has a duty to inform the electorate, while owing the candidate nothing, especially if that candidate is not a dues paying member of the party. Political parties don’t get involved in primaries, eh? Tell that joke to Bernie Sanders supporters.

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