Tea party leader wants to take Lt. Governor’s seat

April 11, 2014
Wes Nakagiri

Wes Nakagiri

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

AMBER TWP. — Wes Nakagiri believes that Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have gone too far in support of Democratic-led legislation and have compromised too many times to pass left-leaning programs such as Medicaid expansion and Common Core educational curriculum.

Nakagiri spoke at the Mason County Tea Party meeting at Gospel Light Baptist Church on Dennis Road Thursday night. The Hartland resident is an engineer by trade. He has taken sabbatical from his job in an attempt to oust the lt. governor, who he believes is to much of a yes man for the governor.

“My opponent was one of the leaders who lobbied vigorously for Medicaid expansion. He’s willing to go against Republican party principles to make one person happy.”

The lieutenant governor candidate is a position that is selected by party delegates during the party’s convention. Typically the governor’s choice of running mate is the person who runs. In this case, Nakagiri is not the governor’s choice. Lt. Gov. Calley was challenged by the Tea Party in the 2010 election as well.

“If you are looking for someone who would stand up for our own party platform and challenge Republican leaders and you are looking for somebody who would unite the party, I submit to you that you should consider my candidacy at the 2014 convention,” Nakagiri said to the small gathering. A majority of those in attendance are party delegates.

Nakagiri said he believes the position of lieutenant governor has a lot of influence. In addition to being party of the administration, the lieutenant governor is also the president of the state senate and is able to vote in the event of a tie.

He said one of his top priorities is assuring the state is fiscally sound for future generations.

“If we don’t get our fiscal house in order, it will be somewhere between criminal and immoral to the next generation.”

Nakagiri is a leader in his local Tea Party. He said he doesn’t see himself fighting with Gov. Snyder. “For the large party, Gov. Snyder will set the agenda. I am not going to be fighting with him day in and day out. But, issues like Medicaid expansion obviously go against our party platform.”

Nakagiri said he has no ambition to run for governor. He said he chose to run for lieutenant governor instead of senator or representative because there are already strong candidates in his district for this positions. He also said that any individual legislator wouldn’t have the ability to hold the party platform more than someone in the administration.

Gov. Snyder is being opposed by Democratic U.S. Congressman Mark Schauer and independent candidate Robin Sanders.

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