Ralph Rebandt, a Republican seeking the nomination in the hotly contested primary race for Michigan's governor, told Newsmax on Tuesday he was "shocked" to hear fellow contender Ryan Kelley was arrested on charges of participating in the Jan. 6 incidents at the Capitol, calling the charges a "politicization of the FBI."
"I'm frankly shocked on the one hand, because I stand in disbelief that the left would go after an individual 519 days after the event," Rebandt told Newsmax's "National Report." "It's obviously a distraction. It's a politicization of the FBI. It's everything that we despise as Americans."
Last Thursday, in the hours before the House Jan. 6 select committee went on prime-time TV, federal agents raided Kelley's home in Allendale, Michigan, where the 40-year-old candidate was arrested on charges that include willfully injuring or attacking U.S. property and disorderly conduct.
Kelley told Newsmax on Monday that, while he was in Washington, D.C., and at the Capitol on Jan. 6, he never entered the complex itself. He also said his arrest came as "no coincidence."
Rebandt said Tuesday that arresting Kelley in front of his family is "just unconscionable."
"We've lost our way in America," he said. "We've lost our conscience. There is no such thing as shame. The left will do whatever they can to protect their power, and this is one of those shots across the bow."
Rebandt added he was not at the Capitol on Jan. 6, as he was at another event in Lansing, Michigan, that day.
Meanwhile, Rebandt, a pastor and the chaplain for the Michigan Association of Police Chiefs, said he is approaching his own campaign from a position of faith.
"I've been telling people that unless you get God right in this next election, nothing's going to matter," he said. "This incident that happened to Ryan is exactly what we're talking about. We're talking about how the left has no shame. When the state replaces God, they'll do whatever they can to maintain their own power."
He said his message is resonating statewide with people who realize that matters in Michigan have become worse, no matter how much money has been spent.
"We have more incarcerations, more drug addictions, more suicides, and the answer isn't throwing more money at it," Rebandt said. "The answer is it's a spiritual issue and that's my message."
He added, if elected governor, he plans to fight inflation by using some "common sense" and "cutting budget amounts so taxes can be lowered."
"Lower the corporate tax to 2.5%, get rid of all the government regulation, all of the administrative state," Rebandt said. "We've got to make some hard decisions here. So as we cut the budget, as we cut the needless spending, we'll find that people will be attracted to Michigan not only for businesses but as individuals wanting to move here, particularly because the culture of Michigan is going to change."
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