The Livingston County Republican Party is alleging a candidate running for the Green Oak Township clerk seat is trying to “bamboozle” voters.

The party’s Executive Committee unanimously passed a resolution opposing the campaign of Devin Steele, who filed for the seat in May as a Republican. The August Primary election isn’t until next year. The local GOP issued a press release stating Steele is known throughout local political circles for his dedication to a host of liberal causes and politicians and public records confirm he has donated no fewer than 39 times to Democratic candidates and committees.

Party Chair Meghan Reckling said Steele’s record proves he does not share their values nor support the Republican Party’s platform, although he wishes to run under the party’s name. She says if Steele believes he’ll be able to bamboozle voters, he is sorely mistaken and Republicans in Green Oak Township deserve to have a candidate who represents their values, not a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Steele provided the following statement to WHMI:
"It is a very sad day for Green Oak Township. Never would I fathom that I would be disparaged in such a fashion from my own county’s party. Our community deserves someone who will fight for them at every opportunity, yet the Livingston County Republican Party thinks otherwise. Resolution 2019-01 by the county GOP to oppose my candidacy sickeningly infers that I should not even be a resident of this county because of my independent-minded political positions. The Resolution and the GOP chair’s comments reflect the attitudes and behaviors demonstrated by party bosses found in Chicago or New York City. I was never critical of the party prior to this. I was willing to join the party and become an ally, so together we can better serve our communities. However, this opportunity has now lapsed."

"The Livingston GOP’s vicious mischaracterization of me is based on a political machine-style power play that serves neither dignity nor democracy. It is true that I have supported Democratic candidates in the past. My political views are considered independent and moderate, and I will financially give and vote to candidates who I think have the best qualifications for their office, regardless of political affiliation. The GOP’s “condemnation” of my candidacy only gives me more strength to fight for the people of Green Oak Township, and I will not let our community be strangled by a political machine that is solely concerned with handpicking our representatives."

"It proves that the Livingston GOP is more interested with finding an ideologue and sycophant to tow the party-line rather than someone who genuinely cares for the community they wish to serve. I will continue to stand for the Republican nomination for Green Oak Township clerk. I hope the residents of my community see that I will not let the party leadership use fear and intimidation to stop me, and that I truly represent the values and hospitality that Green Oak has to offer."

Meanwhile, Livingston County Democratic Party Chairwoman Judy Daubenmier says 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. She says the executive committee of the local GOP does not get to choose who runs in Republican primaries and the seat isn’t being “stolen” by Devin Steele because it doesn’t belong to the Republican Party - it belongs to the voters of Green Oak Township.

Daubenmier says the party has chosen to try to bully a college student whose total political contributions throughout his entire life barely total $500 as he’s given $1 and $2 at a time. She added Republican bullies need to stop attacking this young kid who decided to exercise his rights.

The press releases issued by both local political parties are attached. (JM)