Republicans Kick Off Crucial Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island
A gorgeous day on Mackinac Island kicked off one of the biggest political events in the state.
It’s the 34th Biennial Republican Mackinac Leadership Conference and every two years it brings some of the biggest names in the party to Northern Michigan.
“There’s so much going on, there’s so many seats that are up across the state,” said Rep. Ken Borton, of Gaylord.
Since 1953, Mackinac Island has been the destination for party leaders to iron out the direction of the Party.
“This is my district. I love it. I keep telling people welcome to the district,” said Rep. John Damoose, of Harbor Springs, “We are in the best part of Michigan, there’s no question about it.”
The conference is part seminar, part social mixer and part launch event.
“I think this weekend you’ll see a lot of great candidates announcing they are running,” said Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth, “Campaigning up here on the island and hopefully we can come together as a party.”
Right now the Republican Party is facing conflict from within as the shadow of former President Donald Trump looms over much of the party.
“It is important to get together talk about what we need to do to make sure we’re on the same page,” said Borton, “And we’re all moving forward at the same time.”
“We’ve got to come together or we’re going to give the other side everything they want,” Said Damoose, “And you know what? We deserve it.”
The governor’s seat is open in 15 months as well as the entire State House and the 13 newly drawn congressional districts. A party pulled in two directions, cannot win.
“Quit complaining. Quit arguing about things we can’t change and come back with this wonderful vision,” said Damoose, “We have conservative principles. This is something that’s exciting and hopeful that we should be excited about. Stop fighting with each other. It’s time for that to stop.”
Saturday is a full slate of speakers and panels kicked off with an address by North Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.