Democrat Carol Glanville defeated Republican Robert “RJ” Regan in a special election that officially narrows the Republican Party's edge in the Michigan state House. Glanville's victory marks the first time a Democrat has won a seat in the heavily Republican district since the early 1990s.
The results confirmed an upset victory for Democrats in a race that had become mired in controversy after Regan made headlines in March for suggesting rape victims should "lie back and enjoy it."
Regan made the statement during a virtual event in which Republicans discussed whether they should continue to promote former President Donald Trump's Big Lie that the 2020 general election had been stolen.
Regan suggested Republicans should push forward with these fictions, adding they should do the opposite of what he tells his daughters about rape and not just "lie back" and accept an election loss.
You can hear his remarks in the video below.
Full RJ Regan Commentaryyoutu.be
"Having three daughters, and I tell my daughters, ‘Well if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it so'."
"That’s not how we roll, that’s not how I won this election. We go right at it."
At the time, only Amber Harris, an Oakland County Republican activist, criticized Regan for his comments, calling them "shameful."
The other Republicans on the call laughed.
Although several members of the Michigan Republican Party disavowed Regan's comments, party leadership never asked him to formally withdraw from the race. According to Glanville, these facts and her resultant win demonstrate West Michigan residents value "integrity, decency, and care for the common good."
Glanville pledged to "take our values and concerns to the Capitol to affect positive change."
Many have congratulated Glanville and concurred with her assessment.
According to exit poll data, Michigan state House District 74, Glanville—a Walker city commissioner—won the race with 52 percent compared to Regan's 40 percent. The remaining 8 percent were largely write-in votes for other candidates.
Regan, meanwhile, has attempted to justify his remarks to his fellow Republicans, claiming in a campaign press release his message "was intentionally truncated to make it look like I said one thing, when in fact, I was saying the exact opposite."
"We don’t take it laying down, nothing is inevitable, even in the face of insurmountable odds, we fight, always we fight," Regan said, adding, in retrospect, he regrets "using an analogy that could so easily have been taken out of context."