Inside the 2008 Michigan House Race for Minority Leader
My intent from the beginning of this project was to outline the complicated decision-making process and hard work that goes in to running for a position of leadership within a legislative caucus. After that, it is worth analyzing the various relationships between candidates for that position that play a central role in the outcome of such an election. I have outlined my experience working for Michigan State Representative John Proos, this summer, on his re-election and his leadership campaigns. I worked on both, but this paper primarily focuses on his candidacy for Republican Leader within the Michigan House of Representatives and the events of that race. First off, I focus on Representative Proos' decision to run and then explore some of the challenges he faced in doing so. Many different considerations go in to his ultimate decision, and I try to highlight the most important ones. After this, I proceed to introduce the other candidates running for the position of Minority Leader and introduce some of their reasons for running for leadership. The main body of the paper goes on to highlight much of the hard work that Representative Proos and his team, of which I was a part, did in order to position Representative Proos as the logical choice for Republican Caucus Leader. As a conclusion, I try to draw many connections between the candidates for leadership and many of the other state representative candidates and illustrate how these relationships contribute to the politics of voting for leadership. That being said, my major goal is for this to be an interesting narrative of what went on this summer in the Republican Caucus leadership race and show how politics between individuals and groups influence who will be at the forefront of political leadership. As a caveat, I should mention that I worked as a member of Representative Proos's team and had a vested interest in his success. However, I tried. to depict all candidates and representatives in an unbiased manor. Despite this, the nature of my vantage point was from behind the eyes of one particular candidate and that is certain to be reflected to some degree. All in all, I hope this provides a new insight to the reader and introduces an aspect of politics that is usually hidden from much of society.