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Michigan Republicans voted to bring a candidate who denies the 2020 election results closer to controlling the vote in the state.
Kristina Karamo, a community college professor who rose to prominence after claiming she saw voter fraud in Detroit during the last presidential race, won the three-way race for secretary of state with about 67% of the vote. votes at Saturday’s GOP endorsement convention in Grand Rapids. .
Michigan does not hold primary elections for a number of downvotes, including secretary of state – who oversees elections – and attorney general. Instead, Republicans and Democrats endorse and then at party conventions nominate candidates for the November general election.
At the weekend’s GOP convention, the party voted strongly in support of former President Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election. About 2,000 delegates from across the state took part in the vote.
The convention was seen by many as the first major test of Trump’s influence over the 2022 election. Former Trump campaign attorney Rudy Giuliani attended the convention, along with MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, who became a leader in the election denial movement.
Trump previously endorsed Karamo. The former president came to Michigan earlier this month to oppose both her and the attorney general candidate he was backing, Matt DePerno.
“It’s not just about 2022,” Trump said during the visit, speaking at a rally in Washington Township. “This is about making sure Michigan is no longer rigged and robbed in 2024.”
Karamo is the first of many non-election candidates running in races for secretary of state across the United States to head to a state ballot in November. She also said that she don’t believe in evolution should be taught in schools.
His opponent will be incumbent Democrat Jocelyn Benson, who faced a torrent of threats and harassment after the 2020 election that echoed Trump’s lies about the Michigan vote.
Ahead of Saturday’s vote, Benson said that she was worried about the state of democracy, should the state elect a candidate for secretary of state like Karamo, who believes the 2020 election was stolen.
“It’s like putting arsonists in charge of a fire department. It’s like putting a bank robber in charge of a bank and giving him the keys to the safe,” Benson said. “It’s a choice between whether or not we will have a democracy moving forward.”
Ahead of the general election, some Michigan political insiders wonder if Karamo will be able to broaden her support outside of Trump’s base, given the range of controversial views she has already expressed.
“Every ad from April 24 through November is going to say ‘QAnon Karamo is too crazy for us,'” said State Rep. Beau LaFave, a Republican who ran for secretary of state against Karamo, ahead of the vote. Saturday.