Michigan Republicans are in turmoil as their leaders navigate tricky Trump terrain


After removing them from power in Trump every branch of state government for the first time in 40 years. Michigan Republicans are wrestling with an uncertain future.

The front-runners to become the next state GOP chair are failed 2022 candidates. Who lost their races after toeing too close to former President. Donald Trump’s election conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, a large group of Republican state lawmakers are eager to move on from Trump. Who is running for the White House again in 2024. And are encouraging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to challenge him.

Another messy primary is shaping up in the 2024 race for Michigan’s.

Open Senate seat the GOP prospects represent a mix of these bifurcated wings of the party. Moderate conservatives whose antipathy toward. Trump could make it difficult for Trump to win. and staunch election-deniers who have shown. They have limited appeal in the general election.

“When we let emotions get in the way, sometimes we forget. Who our competitors are,” said state Rep. Phil Greene. One of 18 GOP lawmakers who signed a hand. -Delivered letter in December calling on DeSantis to challenge Trump. “The fear is that we harm ourselves in the process.”

The divide is not unique to Michigan.

Republicans in other presidential battlegrounds, from Arizona to Pennsylvania,. Have struggled to balance the demands of their Trump. -Loyal base with the broader support needed to win divided states. But the returns have been particularly disappointing in Michigan. Where the GOP appeared to be on the verge of building a decisive. Coalition of working-class voters after Trump’s 2016 victory.

Whether the future is steeped in Trumpism or a throwback to a more traditional. And less combative brand of Republicanism. People on both sides are presenting themselves as pacifists.

“Subtraction is the worst way to win an election,” said former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican. Who admitted to todaystrend News that he may be considering a return.

To politics as a candidate for the Senate or White House in 2024.

Rogers said the Trump years have introduced “a constant state of chaos.” And a raft of conspiracy theories that have alienated. And exhausted the state’s more mainstream voters.

“Remember ‘The Gong Show?'” Rogers asked, referring to a televised. Talent show in the late ’70s where the losers were voted off at the sound of a gong. “we got a double gong.”

Trump took considerable interest in Michigan after losing the state in 2020. Last year, he endorsed candidates up and down the ballot in hopes of landing GOP allies in the 2024 election. But there Democrats have found an easy contrast. And cast Republicans as a threat to democracy, appealing to sway voters. Who don’t buy Trump’s conspiracy theories. State party officials cited these and other tensions.

When blaming them for losses last year.

“At the end of the day, high-quality, substantive candidates. And well-funded campaigns are still critical to winning elections,” Paul Cordes. The state party’s chief of staff, wrote in a memo after the November election. “We’ve struggled in both areas to the detriment of Michiganders across the state.”

But Trump always remains. In the 11-candidate race for state party chair. The former president endorsed last year’s losing candidate for attorney general. Matt DiPerno, who is being investigated by the state on suspicion of tampering . With the state’s voting machines. DePerno has denied any wrongdoing. GOP observers believe that Trump’s support gives DiPerno. An edge over Christina Caramo — another electoral denier. Who lost a race for secretary of state last year — at this month’s state party convention.

Where incumbent Chairman Ron Weiser is not seeking a new term.

“Depending on who you talk to, you’re going to get different views. And opinions on both Donald Trump and the direction people think he should go,” DiPerno said. “What we need to do as a group in Michigan is come together and stop the infighting and tribalism.”

DiPerno’s case focused more on the internal party process. Than the principles for becoming party chair. And though he said he shares Trump’s distaste for absentee voting by mail. DiPerno said the party needs to “adapt our tactics” to match Democrats. Unlike Trump, DiPerno advocates strong primary voting. — So Republicans can regain power and pass restrictive voting laws.

“We can’t be a party that sits there on the town square.

And screams about election fraud but is unable or unwilling to get dirty. So to speak, and get into the fray with the Democrats and fight it to the level that they fight it,” DePerno said. said. “I’m the savage who’s ready to get into the mud with the Democrats and beat them up in the system they built.”

DiPerno’s position illustrates the challenge Republicans face in neutralizing the competitive. Disadvantages Trump brings to the party. Greene, a DeSantis-backed state lawmaker. Insisted she could remain loyal to both men, even as their 2024 contest intensifies.

“I’m 100% for DeSantis,” Green said. “But, I’m also 100% pro-Trump. Everyone cares about President Trump. DeSantis has room to be a new voice.”

Jason Roe, a Republican strategist who resigned as executive.

Director of the Michigan GOP in 2021. After criticizing Trump, said he believes the MAGA wing. Will take control of the state party this month. He is also optimistic that primary voters will choose in 2024.

“We’ve lost everything in the last four years — everything. — And we’re starting from scratch now,” Roe said. “It’s time to try something different because what we’ve been doing for the last four years has failed us.”

Next year’s Senate race, an interesting pick-up opportunity for Republicans. With the retirement of Democrat Debbie Stabeno, could be a major proxy battle.Former Reps. Peter Meijer and Fred Upton, among 10 Republicans. Who voted to impeach Trump after riots at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, are among the possible. Candidates (Upton decided not to run for re-election last year, Meijer lost in the primary). So did Tudor Dixon, a Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate last year. And Ryan Kelly, the right-wing activist. Who lost to Dixon in the primary. After facing allegations of involvement in the Capitol riots.

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