The Secretary of the Hillsdale County Republican Party clapped back at members of the party’s Executive Committee after he was among those named in a lawsuit that the local GOP filed against itself. 

Jon Smith made a public statement in the hours after the suit was filed in Hillsdale County Circuit Court. 

He called the suit “pointless” and said it only hurts the reputation of the Republican party. 

The lawsuit was filed, Wednesday, by Lansing attorney Jonathan Lauderbach, on behalf of Brent Leininger and other members of the Hillsdale County Republican Executive Committee. 

It asks the court to confirm that the party’s officers, including Smith, Chair Daren Wiseley, Vice-Chair lance Lashaway, Parliamentarian John Rutan, Treasurer Josh Gritzmaker and Deputy Treasurer Belle Stier acted improperly in locking duly elected precinct delegates out of the local Republican Convention back in August; It also asks the court to clear the way for the bi-annual election of officers and Executive Committee members within 20 days of the November 8th election. 

Smith said, with important midterm elections on the line, the suit is a waste of time, energy and money at a time when Republicans can ill-afford to be wasteful. 

Smith said he and some other GOP officers have already announced that they’ll be stepping down when their terms expire later this year. 

He said attendance at Hillsdale County GOP meetings has skyrocketed since the current slate of officers, most of whom are connected to the ultra conservative America First movement, took over in the days following the controversial 2020 Presidential election. 

Smith said the ongoing rift in the party is a result of a grassroots movement toward more conservative values meeting what he called the “Good Ol’ Boys” network that’s become embedded in the party over the years. 

A handful of lawsuits have been filed by those connected to the local Republican Party since the ongoing turmoil began to heat up a couple months ago.

Some of those cases have been thrown out as frivolous.


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