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Pscholka team claim 29 commitments for leader

August 25, 2014

The number of likely Republican House members next session who have said they will support Rep. Al PSCHOLKA (R-Stevensville) for GOP leader is at 29, according to Pscholka supporter Rep. Lisa Posthumus LYONS (R-Alto). 

The release of the 29 number comes three days after Rep. Kevin COTTER (R-Mt. Pleasant), the other House Republican running for leader for the 2015-16 term, announced he had 25 supporters for leader (See “Cotter Camp: We Have 25 Supporters For Leader Bid,” 8/18/14).

Lyons quickly pivoted away from the number in a press release issued today. She said that the only number all House Republicans should be interested in is 56, the number needed for Republicans to keep majority after the upcoming November elections. 

Asked if today’s press release was an attempt to snuff out any momentum the Cotter camp is trying to generate, Lyons said, “Everybody is looking for momentum, but at the end of the day, the real momentum should be about making sure the House Republicans maintain majority.” 

Currently, the Republican have a 59-50 majority with one independent, but with that one independent being a heavily Democratic Detroit district, the R’s really have a 59-51 edge going into November. House Speaker Jase BOLGER (R-Marshall) is term-limited after this year. 

Lyons declined to list who makes up their 29. On Friday, MIRS reported that outside of Pscholka and Lyons, Pscholka’s supporters include Rep. Jeff FARRINGTON (R-Utica), Mike CALLTON (R-Nashville), Ken YONKER (R-Caledonia) and Earl POLESKI (R-Jackson) (See “Pscholka, Cotter Both See ‘Momentum’ On Their Sides In Leader Race,” 8/15/14). That’s a total of six. 

In Monday’s story, MIRS reported 17 names of Cotter supporters. Asked if Lyons saw any names of the 17 who she felt was on Pscholka’s list of 29, Lyons declined to get further into the race for what she hopes is House Speaker. 

Lyons statement reads as followed: 

“As you know, I made the decision to throw my wholehearted support behind Al Pscholka because he has demonstrated the leadership and fundraising abilities our next Speaker should possess. I love all of my caucus colleagues. They are as fine a collection of bright, energetic and dedicated public servants anyone could have the privilege of serving with. However, with the office comes very tough decisions that all of us must make. One of those is to vote for a leader. 

“There has been a lot of press lately about the campaign for the next Speaker of the House. Since the race is now public, the only statement Al Pscholka and I will make is this: our team has 29 supporters. I believe, however, the public nature of this race should be ree-xamined. 

“The recent release of names and numbers for Speaker has created a buzz that is distracting from our number one goal: to maintain the Republican Majority in the House. This is a numbers game, not a name game, and the magic number for all of us is 56. 

“A Speaker’s race this public before Labor Day will do nothing but distract our caucus from our core mission and possibly cause resources to be spent to advance personal agendas as opposed to advancing strategic efforts to elect more Republicans to the House. Many members and candidates have tough races in a swing districts, and we all need to ensure that Republicans are successful in these and our own races. 

“Al and I will continue to take the temperature of the caucus on what they want to see in their next leadership team, but we are focused on one thing and one thing only: electing a majority Republican caucus in November so that we can actually elect a Republican Speaker. In the meantime, I urge everyone interested in a leadership position to join with us to raise money and deploy boots on the ground with one goal in mind: the largest GOP House majority possible. The rest will take care of itself.”

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