Lawmaker who switched political parties loses seat to Democratic challenger

Nov 7, 2012

The Grand Rapids lawmaker who caused a scandal by switching political parties earlier this year will not return to Lansing. State Representative Roy Schmidt was defeated by his Democratic Party challenger, and political newcomer, Winnie Brinks.

“This wasn’t something I was planning, it was something people asked me to do (following Schmidt’s party switch).  I’m really excited about this opportunity to serve and to apply the skills I’ve learned in the last twenty years working in schools and non-profits to helping people in a more systematic way,” Brinks said.

Schmidt made a quiet exit after years of public service at the state and local level. He stayed off the campaign trail for the past two months, and made no public appearances on election night.

“I’m not surprised by the results. I had a feeling that this is how it would go and I’m very pleased that Grand Rapids has this confidence in me,” Brinks said.

Brinks declared victory late Tuesday night when results showed she had nearly a twenty point lead on Schmidt.

At 2:36a.m. with 30-percent of precincts reporting, Brinks lead Schmidt 51-to-26-percent. Write-in candidate Bing Goei got 13-percent.