Michigan GOP Elects Rob Steele As New National Committeeman

LANSING (AP) - Michigan Republicans elected a new key party official Saturday during the state's GOP convention, choosing Rob Steele as the next Michigan national committeeman.

"You're here now because you have a passion for something and we need that passion and involvement," Steele told the convention crowd in Lansing. "We have a common enemy. That common enemy is the left wing."

He will succeed Dave Agema, who had refused Republicans' calls for him to resign for derogatory Facebook posts and links to articles about gays, Muslims and African-Americans.

Steele, an Ann Arbor cardiologist, beat financial adviser Mark Gurley for the position. Gurley received high praise from Agema, who lauded him for his conservatism and support of traditional family values.

"Mark will do the right thing," Agema said at the convention. "He has a servant's heart."

State Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Canton and Rep. Gary Glenn of Midland made impassioned calls to elect Steele. Colbeck told hundreds of Republicans at the convention that "he's somebody that I can get behind."

Political consultant and former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak previously called for Agema to resign.

Other Republicans like former state delegate John Truscott and political strategist Stu Sandler expressed misgivings about Agema earlier this week.

"Dave Agema had a lot of issues," Sandler said. "He wasn't very helpful when it came to getting Republicans elected."

He added that "it'll be good to get a committeeman that'll actually help candidates get elected."

Michigan Republicans also re-elected Kathy Berden as national committeewoman Saturday. Berden has worked in local party leadership positions.

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