Republican primary nears without clear favorite
The GOP primary race has flipped upside down.
Driving the news: Two disqualified candidates once seen as front runners, James Craig and Perry Johnson, have launched write-in campaigns, while three other candidates who started as fringe outsiders now lead the pack.
What they're saying: "I'm not giving up. They have robbed me. They have robbed Perry," Craig told WJBK-TV's "Let it Rip."
- Johnson acknowledged on the program that winning would be "very difficult, practically speaking. People have a hard time remembering the name."
- He also referenced Mayor Mike Duggan's successful write-in campaign, but confessed he and Craig face an uphill battle. "I think you have to get on the ballot. That's why I filed in the federal court," Johnson said.
The latest: Tudor Dixon, Garrett Soldano and Ryan Kelley now have the most grassroots support out of the five remaining candidates, with Kevin Rinke and Ralph Rebrandt still in the race.
- Kelley, 40, was recently arrested and charged with four misdemeanor counts stemming from his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.
- "If you didn't know my name a couple of days ago, you know it now Kelley told MLive following his arrest.
What's next: Candidates are vying for an endorsement from former President Trump. With Johnson off the ballot, many believe Dixon is Trump's favorite.
- Dixon's relationship with Betsy DeVos' family could affect her chances for a Trump endorsement because of the former education secretary's disapproval of Jan. 6.
- Plus, political strategists believe Republicans' united support of Kelley against the FBI's allegations could actually bolster his campaign.
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