LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) - After supposedly scheming to defraud the voting public by offering to pay a friend to run as a Democrat against Grand Rapids Rep Roy Schmidt, Speaker of the House Jase Bolger is now admitting what he did was inappropriate.
"Everyone involved needs to accept responsibility. I do, I accept responsibility," Bolger said.
Kent County prosecutors determined a decoy Democrat was hired and encouraged to run against Schmidt, who became a Republican candidate just minutes before the filing deadline. Doing this could have further ensured his re-election later this year.
In addition to Bolger, Schmidt seemingly regrets his actions as well, apologizing to his district for what took place. He stated, "Again I want to sincerely want to apologize to the people of Grand Rapids and I'm going to work my butt off to make amends for it."
As the summertime session took place in Lansing, feelings were mixed by both parties regarding the incident. However both agree the actions of the men involved are extremely disappointing.
"Obviously we are disappointed number one, it's very disturbing and it does confirm our suspicions all along that there was some collusion, and that this happened in such a short amount of time," Rep. Richard Hammel (D-Flushing) told 24 Hour News 8. "There had to be folks working behind the scenes to make this happen. So it's disappointing to us, not only Democrats but it should be to Republicans and people all over the state of Michigan."
However some are not as shaken by it.
Rep. Ken Yonker (R-Caledonia) said, "Although disappointing, I've made mistakes in the process over the years and so we all do. House Speaker Bolger and those involved are no different than any other human."
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