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UPDATED: Lt. Gov. Brian Calley Talks Party Unity In Bloomfield

Michigan's lieutenant governor said he doesn't mind competition, even from within the Republican Party.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley addressed about 50 guests of the Birmingham Republican Women's Club at the Iroquois Club in Bloomfield Hills.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley addressed about 50 guests of the Birmingham Republican Women's Club at the Iroquois Club in Bloomfield Hills.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said he expects competition even from within GOP ranks to remain in Lansing in the 2014 election. But he cautioned Republicans in Bloomfield Hills Monday not to let it divide the party during a critical time.

"We need to be very careful not to be drawn into fights with people that really ought to be our friends," Calley told roughly 50 guests of the Birmingham Republican Women's Club at the Iroquois Club.

Calley is expected to face a challenge for the lieutenant governor's post from Hartland's Wes Nakagiri, a tea party activist, at the Republican Party of Michigan's statewide convention next year.

He explained that he's fine with competition, but won't be baited into conflicts in what could be a difficult campaign just to secure the party nomination. 

"Sometimes people want to fight, but I don’t have to fight with them," the Portland Republican said. "I’m committed to putting real solutions on th table and taking stands event when it’s uncomfortable."

Attendees, included local elected officials, also asked Calley to address the perception of a divided party, and concrete issues such as the state of Detroit and Medicaid.

The club and supporters gathered for the final time in 2013 at a Holiday Unity Luncheon. Bloomfield Township Clerk Jan Roncelli issued an oath of office to the club's incoming executive board after Calley's remarks.

"We wanted to create time and space four us Republicans to join together in friendship and peace and reflect on and celerate the important ideals that bind us altogether," said Barb Mandell, outgoing club president. 

Check back with Patch for more coverage.

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