Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan GOP Chair Bobby Schostak are urging Michigan’s RNC committeeman, Dave Agema, to step down over his contentious anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments.
“For the good of the party, we believe Dave Agema should resign,” Priebus and Schostak said Friday in a joint statement to the Detroit Free Press.
The party leaders previously condemned Agema’s remarks without calling for him to step down. They join three House members from Michigan and other prominent state Republicans who have already publicly called for Agema’s resignation.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette also called for Agema’s resignation Friday, according to the Detroit News.
— Chad Livengood (@ChadLivengood) January 24, 2014
The committee member deliberately planned to skip the Republican Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., where the country’s GOP leaders gathered Friday to vote on party rules, in protest of his “liberal critics.”
“My liberal critics within the Republican Party have chosen to elevate this discussion to the RNC Meeting and make it a drawn out fight between liberals and conservatives within the party,” Agema said in a statement explaining his decision. “For this reason, I have decided it is best for the party that I not attend the meeting this week and instead I have sent a proxy who will vote how I want on Rules.”
Michigan Gov. Rick Synder and U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land, the state’s other national committee member, have also condemned Agema’s comments but have not yet called for his resignation, according to the Free Press. Agema has not announced any intention to step down.
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.