You Deserve to Know

Yesterday, my opponent in the Attorney General’s race, Tom Leonard, sent an email titled “Desperate campaign attacks” and denounced “the negative campaign being run from my opponent.”

For him to tell people he opposes negative campaigning is quite a shock, because as he’s traveled the state, he criticizes fellow Republicans, and the day I announced my candidacy, a so-called “news” website attacked me and ran Facebook ads promoting the fake news story. Who owns this website? Tom Leonard’s political consultant. Tom Leonard is clearly comfortable with negative campaigning, but only if it suits his political interests and especially when he can hide behind others.

Why is Tom Leonard suddenly against “negative campaigning”? Because my campaign is letting Delegates know that he donated repeatedly to a liberal Democrat’s campaign. This liberal Democrat was endorsed by Planned Parenthood and was weak on illegal immigration. In fact, when the Attorney General’s seat was last open, in 2010, Tom Leonard donated to liberal Democrat David Leyton, who Bill Schuette defeated in the general election.

Tom Leonard says, “I didn’t recently become a conservative because I wanted to pander to delegates.” If he’s been a conservative for such a long time, why did he donate over and over and over to a liberal Democrat? The Attorney General’s Office is very important in Michigan and Delegates deserve to know this information; Tom Leonard is certainly not sharing it as he campaigns around the state.

Fake Outrage

In yesterday’s email, my opponent specifically accused me and my campaign of “trying to go further and attack my family”, “requesting personal information about my wife”, and “clearly looking for something to attack my wife”. He added, “my wife and daughter should be off-limits to personal attacks” and that he feels “awful” for his wife.

So, what supposedly caused these comments? A Freedom of Information request was made to find out the taxpayer-funded salary and benefits of the Head of the Film Office, the entity that distributed film tax credits until its core function was eliminated in 2015. Yep, that’s it. The Mackinac Center requests this public information on a regular basis and our campaign is doing a standard check to see the latest information as we review his record.

Strong American Campaigns

American campaigns are about a vigorous exchange of ideas, sharing your vision and differentiating with the opposition. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson fought it out, along with Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, George W. Bush and John McCain, and we all witnessed the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary. Abraham Lincoln would have never won the Republican nomination for president if his team had avoided differentiating himself from the other Republican candidates. In Michigan, the Gubernatorial candidates are mixing it up, just as they do every time the seat is open, and elections all across our state will contain disagreements among candidates, but the people will sort it out and our democracy will go on as it always has.

Since our country survived the strong campaign tactics of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Donald Trump and our Michigan candidates, I suspect we will survive some back-and-forth in the Attorney General’s race. I believe the biggest shame would be to keep information hidden from Delegates during the nomination process, and then we find out a candidate’s vulnerabilities in a general election against the Democrats, or if elected, people are surprised by the newly elected official’s actions. Our party is most definitely intellectually strong enough that we can have fact-based discussions in elections throughout our state, so the Delegates and voters can make informed decisions.


Tonya Schuitmaker

Kent County Republican Party Leaders Endorse Tonya Schuitmaker for Attorney General

Lawton, MI – Today, Kent County Republican Party Chair Donijo DeJonge, Vice Chair Dan Koorndyk, Treasurer Adam Wright, and Secretary Jessica Ann Tyson announced their endorsement of Tonya Schuitmaker for Attorney General.

“We support Tonya Schuitmaker to be our next Attorney General because she achieves results that matter in citizens’ lives and strongly advances our Republican principles. Tonya is a legislative leader combating the drug abuse epidemic, protecting seniors from physical and financial abuse, and supporting law enforcement. The Democrats desperately want to recapture the Attorney General’s office, but Tonya knows how to win tough campaigns, having won elections in counties President Obama carried twice, and Tonya won while running as a conservative,” said Donijo DeJonge, Kent County Republican Party Chair.

“I am honored and grateful to receive the endorsements of Donijo DeJonge, Dan Koorndyk, Adam Wright, and Jessica Ann Tyson. They are tremendous grassroots leaders, good people, and I look forward to working with them side-by-side to win the Attorney General’s race and help the entire Republican Team be victorious,” added Tonya Schuitmaker.

Tonya Schuitmaker was an attorney in private practice for ten years and has since served in the State House and currently in the State Senate. Raised on a family farm in Van Buren County, Tonya has been a lifelong resident of West Michigan. She and her husband Steve raised their two children, Jordan and Savina, on the same farm.

10 House Democrats Protest During Pledge of Allegiance; Reps. Barrett and Glenn Criticize Protest

We should all give thanks to Representatives Tom Barrett and Gary Glenn for speaking out against the protest during the Pledge of the Allegiance.

Here are excerpts from the MIRS News article on September 28, 2017:

Ten members of the House Democratic caucus linked arms on the House floor today as opposed to putting their hand over their heart for the Pledge of Allegiance as a way to draw attention to racial injustices, in general, and a recent Facebook reposting by Col. Kriste Kibbey ETUE, specifically.

An audibly upset Rep. Tom BARRETT (R-Potterville), a member of the Army National Guard, said it’s one thing for professional athletes to protest. It’s quite another for someone who voluntarily took an oath of office to follow the constitution of the United States of America and the state of Michigan. The pledge is a reminder of that oath, he said.

“When you have members disrespecting that, I think it calls into question your suitability for office and if they aren’t happy being here and they want to go protest something, perhaps they can do that somewhere else,” Barrett said.

“We’re creating laws here. This isn’t a football game,” said Barrett, who said he was going to talk to leadership about his feelings that to make a display of protest in this manner is “inappropriate on the House floor.”

Speaker Pro Tem Gary GLENN (R-Midland) struck a similar tone: “I’m entirely open to any discussion about people being treated fairly in every aspect of our society. But I think it’s inappropriate and disrespectful to demonstrate during something that’s supposed to be a unifying exercise, and always has been, the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag for which men and women are willing to die to defend.

“It’s inappropriate, whether it’s on a football field or the floor of the state House of Representative.”

Speaker Tom LEONARD (R-DeWitt) was asked his opinion literally minutes after learning about the protest and said he feels honored and blessed to come into chamber and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which reminds him what his duty is to the state.

As to the protest of the 10 House Democrats, “I can’t get in and comment on what they just did. Every time I come into this chamber, I am proud to begin with a prayer, and I am proud to put my hand over my heart and say the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Brooks Patterson Endorses Tonya Schuitmaker for Attorney General

Lawton, MI– Today, Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson announced his endorsement of Tonya Schuitmaker for Attorney General.

“Tonya Schuitmaker is a strong leader who will be a tough law-and-order Attorney General.  Like me, Tonya has won in areas President Obama carried twice by serving as a principled leader and achieving meaningful results.  Whether combating the drug abuse epidemic, helping crime victims, or opposing sanctuary cities, we can trust Tonya Schuitmaker to protect what is important to the people of Michigan,” said Brooks Patterson.

“Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson is a national leader fostering economic growth, job creation and fiscal responsibility, and he was a tough prosecutor who made Oakland County a safe place to raise a family.  Being from West Michigan, I have always admired Brooks’ results-oriented leadership and I’m particularly grateful to receive his endorsement as we build a statewide campaign,” added Tonya Schuitmaker.

Tonya Schuitmaker was an attorney in private practice for ten years and has since served in the State House and currently in the State Senate.  Raised on a family farm in Van Buren County, Tonya has been a lifelong resident of West Michigan. She and her husband Steve raised their two children, Jordan and Savina, on the same farm.

Tonya Schuitmaker Inducted into the Republican Women’s Federation of Michigan Inaugural Hall of Fame Class

Mackinac Island, MI– The Republican Women’s Federation of Michigan held a ceremony today at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference and Senator Tonya Schuitmaker was among the ten inductees in their inaugural Hall of Fame class.  The inductees are Betsy DeVos, Melanie Foster, Ruth Johnson, Ronna Romney McDaniel, Tonya Schuitmaker, Linda Lee Tarver, Eileen Lappin Weiser, Sharon Wise, Sandra S. Kahn, and Pam Boyle Williams.

“We would like to acknowledge and thank you for your efforts toward advancing conservative principles and endeavors.  Your life’s work was evaluated and among your many accomplishments, your service to our state and nation is undeniable!” wrote Linda Lee Tarver, President of the Republican Women’s Federation of Michigan.

“I am genuinely honored and humbled to be named to the Hall of Fame alongside these tremendous conservative leaders.  As Republicans, we are fighting for a brighter future by advancing freedom, supporting policies that expand opportunity for everyone to utilize their God given talents, and defending the Constitution and our Michigan values.  The Republican Women’s Federation of Michigan is taking our hopeful conservative message throughout our state to expand our Party and help our country,” said Schuitmaker.


Tonya Schuitmaker was an attorney in private practice for ten years, handling a wide variety of civil, business and family cases, and has since served in the State House and currently in the State Senate.  Tonya is a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, law-and-order conservative who won in counties President Obama carried twice, demonstrating she is a conservative who wins in political swing areas.  She has been named ‘Legislator of the Year’ by the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, Michigan Association of Police Chiefs, Michigan Probate Judges, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  Tonya was consistently endorsed by Right to Life of Michigan PAC, the Michigan Farm Bureau, and earned an “A” from the NRA.   

 Raised on a family farm in Van Buren County, Tonya has been a lifelong resident of Southwest Michigan. She and her husband Steve have raised their two children, Jordan and Savina, on the same farm.