SKUBICK: MI GOP Senate Leader Mike Shirkey’s future uncertain after controversial comments

News

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Some Democrats in the State legislature are trying to get state senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey to resign after controversial comments. 6 News’ Tim Skubick reports that there are also some quiet concerns among senate Republicans about Shirkey’s future.

Shirkey said that the insurrection at the U.S. capitol on Jan 6. was a “hoax,” unaware that he was being recorded.

He walked back those comments publicly, but in another hot-mic moment he was overheard saying the word hoax did not apply to the riot, but rather who was behind it.

Shirkey parroted false claims that the riot at the U.S. capitol was not committed by Trump supporters, but rather by unspecified left-wing agitators or the U.S. government itself.

Shirkey also caught flak for comments he made during Governor Whitmer’s State of the State address, where he described Whitmer as “delightful” without a mask on, a comment many found sexist and inappropriate.

He also was caught saying he wanted to “fist fight” Governor Whitmer on the Capitol lawn, and that he would like to “spank her” on the state budget.

Shirkey has said he will not resign.

However, fact that Shirkey has said he will not resign as the GOP leader means two things: first… that he won’t step down. However, it also indicates that he’s heard his future is in jeopardy.

Nobody in the senate GOP has called for a new leader, but nobody in the GOP defended Shirkey when he had to apologize for his comments about the Governor and the capitol insurrection either.

Sources indicate that segments of the Michigan business community are not happy with his rhetoric, which may be why he said this during the opening prayer yesterday:

“Lord, I don’t think there’s a person in this chamber, in this state of this country for that matter, that doesn’t want to move forward and try to be positive and solve problems.”

The national media has latched themselves onto the senator’s comments, and none of the coverage is positive for Michigan.

The Governor knows that.

“Certainly our state has been highlighted in the national media in ways that weren’t so flattering, and that is concerning and should be concerning to every one of us.”

Republican senators are facing more than just optics problems, some businesses said they will stop contributing to Senator Shirkey’s re-election fund.

As that list of non-contributors grows, some senators could see their own political future in danger.

Whitmer was asked if a new GOP leader is needed.

“This is a community that has talked a lot about civility and the importance of it,” she said.

She would not directly answer if she would support his removal.

GOP senators might turn to colleague Aric Nesbitt, who has been laying the groundwork to be the next GOP senate leader after Shirkey retires, and some may be asking him to step in now.

All of this is just speculation, but the fact that talks are going on off camera indicates problems for Shirkey’s future.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan

StormTracker 6 Radar