GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Two-term Democratic State Rep. Roy Schmidt switched his party affiliation Tuesday and announced he would seek re-election to represent his west-side Grand Rapids constituents as a Republican.
Schmidt made the announcement in a news release. It appears he will run unopposed as a Republican for the 76th District seat in November. Democrat Matt Mojzak will challenge him for the seat.
The Republicans in Lansing confirmed that Schmidt is now a member of the House Republican caucus.
The Michigan Democratic Party, meanwhile, was not pleased with Schmidt's sudden party change, calling the move "cowardly" and "craven."
Here is the complete text of Roy Schmidt's statement:
Serving as a state representative isn't about a party, it isn't about politics - it's about doing what is best for Grand Rapids. After careful consideration, I have decided to run for reelection to the Michigan House of Representatives as a Republican. My ideals, my priorities and who I am remain the same. I am a moderate dedicated as ever to representing the people of Grand Rapids, and will always fight for improving education, public safety and protecting children.
I believe I was sent to Lansing to serve the people of Grand Rapids, not political bosses. The simple truth is, extreme Democrat party bosses like Mark Brewer are unwilling to listen to ideas or accept my positions on issues that matter to me and Grand Rapids.
Michigan is leading the nation in economic recovery, but we have a lot of work to do, and I want to be part of the team that is focused on making a positive impact. I will be working for Grand Rapids, not partisan politics.
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