Agema not running again for RNC

Jonathan Oosting
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing – Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema of Michigan, a tea party favorite whose tenure has been marked by controversy, announced Saturday he will not seek re-election to the post.

The Grandville Republican, in an email to supporters, described most RNC meetings he attended as “a waste of time and money” but said he will finish his term and could seek other political roles, either within the party or as an elected official.

“I feel led to help get fiscal, moral and constitutional officials elected that I know will represent those attributes and principles I have tried to uphold,” he wrote. “However the Position of RNC Committeeman does not allow the Flexibility to do so.”

Agema came under fire in recent years for a series of social media posts and comments related to gays, Muslims and African Americans. The controversy began early 2013 when he shared on Facebook and article purporting to describe health risks associated with the “filthy” homosexual lifestyle.

In January 2014, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak both called for his resignation, along with other state officials. A year later, the RNC’s executive committee formally censured Agema.

“I refused to resign after over a year of unfounded attacks and failed censure attempts,” Agema told supporters Saturday. “I have never quit anything I have started, and certainly wasn't about to cave to political correctness and falsehoods.”

Agema, a retired Air Force pilot, served three terms in the Michigan House before state party members elected him to the RNC in 2012.

The Michigan Republican Party will elect RNC committee members at an April convention in Lansing, according to spokeswoman Sarah Anderson.

Ann Arbor-area cardiologist Rob Steele is currently the only declared candidate for Agema’s seat. Committeewoman Kathy Berden is seeking re-election.