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Jase Bolger could face competition for House Speaker

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Rep. Jase Bolger, R.-Marshall Rep. Jase Bolger, R.-Marshall
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

You just knew this would happen. A West Michigan Republican is considering a run for Speaker of the Michigan House now that the current speaker is embroiled in a protracted flap over trying to rig an election on that side of the state.

Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) should not be shocked that fellow Republican Ken Yonker (R-Kentwood) is thinking about it.

For his part Mr. Yonker wants nothing to do with this story. He declined to be interviewed and will not confirm it but a source on that side of the state does confirm that the thought "has entered his mind" but this source, familiar with his thinking, quickly tacks on "no decision has been made (and) and there is no time table for making it."

So what?

For Mr. Bolger, who will eventually be summoned to appear before a one-person grand jury poking around in the controversy, it's just one more political headache to endure. There are published reports that he is facing an unexpected challenge to hold onto his house seat and now the potential of a challenge for the top leadership spot. All this serves to drain your energy level not to mention you campaign coffers to boot.

What gives with Mr. Yonker?

Best one can tell he has been getting an earful in his district from disgruntled voters. They are none too pleased that Mr. Bolger and former Democrat turned Republican, Rep. Roy Schmidt (D-Grand Rapids) tried to subvert the election process by attempting to install a phony candidate to help insure Mr. Schmidt's reelection bid.

It's fair to assume that Mr. Yonker feels he can help restore some integrity in the House GOP caucus, other wise why would this thought about running even creep into his head?

And one has to ask, if Mr. Yonker is pondering, are there more in the GOP caucus doing the same thing?

Over there on the sidelines, trying not to gloat too much, are the House Democrats who will view this potential challenge to the Speaker's throne as one more issue to exploit as that party tries to regain control of the House. This could get ugly.

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