Although Fred Upton’s centrist voting record has been upsetting more conservative Republicans for years, the 35-year congressman from Western Michigan “is going to pay for that vote [to impeach President Donald Trump] today.”
That’s what Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski, a prominent conservative fixture in Upton’s 4th District, told Newsmax hours after the veteran congressman’s impeachment vote.
“Fred is not conservative when it comes to economic or social issues,” said Genetski. With a lifelong rating of 69% from the American Conservative Union, Upton’s most recent ACU rating was 52% — making him one of the handful of House Republicans who is more moderate than conservative.
But it is Upton’s vote Wednesday as one of ten House Republicans to support impeachment of Trump that has fueled talk of a serious primary challenge in 2022. State Senate President Pro Tempore Aric Nesbitt, a farmer and Hillsdale College graduate, is prominently mentioned as a challenger to Upton from the right.
Another prospect is Berrien County (St. Joseph) Clerk Sharon Tyler, a former state legislator and conservative stalwart.
Last year, Ukrainian-born realtor Elena Oelke drew 37.5% of the vote running on a conservative platform against Upton in the Republican primary.
Reached by Newsmax at her home in Benton Harbor (“I’m about to sit down to dinner with my husband”), Oelke would not say whether she was considering another race against Upton. She did say, however, that she has received “a lot of emails” encouraging her to take on the incumbent.
Of Upton’s impeachment vote, Oelke said flatly: “I would not have voted for impeachment this time or any of the impeachment motions last year.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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