Feb 19, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Michigan GOP selects 2020 election denier as party leader

Republican candidate for Secretary of State Kristina Karamo speaks during a Save America rally on October 1, 2022 in Warren, Michigan.

Kristina Karamo, a Republican candidate for secretary of state, speaks during a Save America rally on Oct. 1, 2022, in Warren, Michigan. Photo: Emily Elconin/Getty Images

The Michigan Republican Party on Saturday selected Kristina Karamo, who denied the 2020 election results and has not conceded her 14-point loss in the 2022 midterm election for Michigan secretary of state, to be its next state chair.

Driving the news: Karamo defeated Trump-backed candidate Matthew DePerno after three rounds of voting to lead the Republican Party ahead of the 2024 election in a crucial battleground state.

  • DePerno lost his bid for attorney general by eight percentage points in 2022.

What they're saying: "We cannot wait to get work done as one Michigan Republican Party," Karamo said, Reuters reports. "We are going to beat the Democrats in 24."

The big picture: Before her 2022 midterm election, Karamo spread conspiracy theories about absentee voting in Detroit, claiming that "illegal votes" are already plaguing the state's largest city, Axios' Samuel Robinson reports.

  • Karamo has also been a strong supporter of former President Trump.
  • She has said that she wants to recruit younger members to the Republican Party and forge a new fundraising model that relies less on big donors, per Reuters.

Zoom out: Election deniers were on the ballot nationwide during the 2022 midterm elections — and secretaries of state races became more high-profile than ever.

  • Secretaries of state are the chief election officers in 24 states where they're elected by voters, Axios' David Nather reports.
  • Five election-denier candidates in competitive contests sought secretary of state positions during the 2022 midterms, including Karamo, but none of the candidates were successful, Axios' Andrew Solender reports.

Go deeper... Secretary of state races intensify

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