Republican Dave Agema Says RNC Leader Suggested He Skip Winter Meeting

Posted at 12:54 PM, Jan 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-27 12:54:07-05
01-27-14 Dave Agema speaking

Dave Agema speaks to a breakfast crowd in Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema of Grandville reiterated that he would not be stepping down as an elected member of the RNC following calls for his resignation. He responded to those criticisms for the first time on camera during a fundraising breakfast at the Sundance Grill in downtown Grand Rapids early Monday morning.

Calls were made for his resignation last week by several members of the Republican Party in West Michigan, including the former chair of the state Republican party, Betsy DeVos, Rep. Fred Upton, Rep. Justin Amash and his challenger, Brian Ellis.

Nationally, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also asked him to resign his position.

“For the good of the party, we believe Dave Agema should resign,” said Priebus and Michigan GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak. That comment was released in a joint statement on Friday, January, 24.

Agema caught more criticism for not attending the winter meeting in Washington D.C last week. He chose to send a proxy, Kent County Republican Chuck Yob, to vote in his place instead.

Monday, he said Priebus, was the one who suggested that he not attend.

“I was actually asked by Reince Priebus,” said Agema, who went on to say that he wanted to attend the national meeting but Priebus argued that his presence would be a distraction. “So, I put a proxy in for me.  It’s not a big deal. I mean, even Schostak didn’t show up. He had a proxy.”

Agema also said that he is representing a faction of the Republican Party that needs a voice. “My goal is to build the GOP not tear it apart.”

He said the fact that the breakfast meeting was packed was proof that there are many out there that are dissatisfied with the Republican Party.

“I represent the grass-roots to the national level and my goal has been all along … to basically try to get the Tea Party, the I-Caucus, and the grass-roots in the GOP, because there has been some dissatisfaction within the GOP.”