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Tea Party activist to challenge Michigan's Lt. Gov. for Republican nomination

Wes Nakagiri/Facebook

Tea Party favorite Wes Nakagiri says he will challenge the re-nomination of Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley at a Republican convention next summer.

Tea Partiers have demonstrated their ability to dominate Michigan Republican conventions and cause heartburn for party leaders. Three years ago, they almost denied Rick Snyder his choice of Calley as a running mate after failing to stop Snyder from winning the Republican primary.

Wes Nakagiri says Tea Party conservatives want one of their own inside the Snyder administration to object when conservative principles are violated. He says the administration’s support expanding for Medicaid under the federal healthcare law was the final straw for him.

“I think I would have been more persuasive than the current lieutenant governor,” says Nakagori. 

Nakagiri says he put his name out early in part to blunt efforts by some Republican leaders to make it harder to challenge the governor’s choice of a running mate.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.