Rep. Greg MacMaster may run as a write-in candidate for the 37th Senate District after losing an extremely bitter Republican primary fight to Rep. Wayne Schmidt.

Greg MacMaster Senate

Mr. MacMaster, of Kewadin, made the surprising declaration Wednesday not long after the Michigan Public Radio Network reported the two men had shaken hands on the House floor during the first House session since the primary.

“Not sure yet, we’re looking at all opportunities that are out there,” Mr. MacMaster said of his plans. “I’m just looking at all the plates that are being presented in front of me.”

Mr. MacMaster said he has heard from many Republicans who think the “election was stolen from them” by Democrats who crossed over to vote for Mr. Schmidt in the Republican primary.

The election saw Mr. MacMaster cast himself as the more conservative candidate, with extensive tea party support.

The Republican establishment rallied for Mr. Schmidt, and he and outside groups eviscerated Mr. MacMaster for a series of personal controversies, as well as seizing on Mr. MacMaster’s mother endorsing Mr. Schmidt.

Still, Mr. MacMaster said he also is considering supporting Mr. Schmidt.

“That’s even an option too,” he said. “I’m looking at all options right now.”

The deadline for persons wanting to run as a write-in for a legislative seat is 4 p.m. October 24.

A write-in bid would face virtually insurmountable odds, especially without considerable money, and fundraising is not Mr. MacMaster’s strength. Given the stoutly Republican nature of the district – Republicans have won it by an average of 22 percentage points over the Democratic candidate the last three elections – the possibility of Mr. MacMaster siphoning off some Republican votes still would not put Mr. Schmidt’s general election prospects into doubt.

He faces Democrat Phil Bellfy of Sault Ste. Marie, a former professor and U.S. Air Force veteran.

Mr. MacMaster said he is researching the possibilities and would decide what to do in the coming weeks.

Mr. Schmidt declined to comment.