Lansing Snyder backs Schostak's bid to be GOP head

By Kathy Barks Hoffman

AP Political Writer

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Gov.-elect Rick Snyder is backing a bid by the Michigan Republican Party's finance director to become the next GOP chairman, replacing Ron Weiser early next year.

Bobby Schostak would be the best candidate to continue uniting the party and building on the successful organization he put in place for the 2010 election, Snyder and Lt. Gov.-elect Brian Calley said in a statement.

"Bobby helped lead Michigan Republicans to their most successful election cycle in more than a generation," Snyder said. He's "the right person to lead our party as Republicans, assume the mantle of leadership and work to reinvent Michigan."

Schostak has set fundraising records since becoming finance director after the 2008 election. Over half of the 15 Republican congressional district chairmen and women support his bid, he said. He also sits on the Republican Governors Association Finance Committee, which poured in millions of dollars to Michigan races this fall.

Schostak has been active in the commercial real estate business since 1976 and is co-chairman and chief executive of Schostak Brothers & Co. Inc., a large family-owned business that has interests in about 100 restaurants. The 54-year-old lives with his wife, Nancy, in Oakland County's Bloomfield Township.

Schostak took a leave from the business to work for the party, raising money and overseeing the Fix Michigan program that opened 25 GOP election centers in the state. He says he'll work with local GOP leaders and tea party activists to create grassroots programs "to ensure conservatives continue to have success in 2012."

Weiser, of Ann Arbor, was elected in 2009 and didn't plan to run for another term. Several other Republicans besides Schostak had been considering a bid, but it's unclear if they'll formally enter the race now that Snyder has said he's backing Schostak.

Among those taking a look at the job were Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop of Rochester, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land of Byron Center and Scott Greenlee, the Michigan Republican Party vice chairman who lives in Grand Rapids.

Republican activists will choose their next chairman early in 2011 at a state convention whose date and location have yet to be announced.

Published: Wed, Nov 24, 2010