Aug 29, 2022 - Politics

Messy Republican convention ends with unified ticket

From left to right: Tudor Dixon, Shane Hernandez, Matt DePerno, Kristina Karamo
Michigan Republican candidates from left to right: Tudor Dixon, Shane Hernandez, Matt DePerno and Kristina Karamo. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

A chaotic Michigan Republican convention set the party's statewide ticket in stone over the weekend.

Candidates include Tudor Dixon for governor, Shane Hernandez for lieutenant governor, Matt DePerno for attorney general and Kristina Karamo for secretary of state.

  • Karamo has the weakest name recognition on the ticket — party chairman Ron Weiser mispronounced her name at the post-convention rally on the Capital lawn.

Why it matters: All of the GOP candidates for Michigan's Nov. 8 election, one of the most closely watched in the country, have cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Yes, but: Nominees aren't airing their skepticism anymore. Still, the undercurrent of voter fraud and the false belief that former President Trump actually won exists deeply within the party's base and among the convention's 2,500 delegates.

  • Hernandez, a former state representative, was the only candidate willing to talk about his distrust in the 2020 election results, telling Axios on Saturday that a potential 2020 election audit would be up to the Legislature if he's elected.
  • "That's going to be up to them, but when I was a legislator, I signed a letter to support it back then," he says.

Between the lines: Former gubernatorial candidates Ralph Rebandt, Perry Johnson and Ryan Kelley all came to the convention for different reasons.

  • Rebandt came vying for the lieutenant governor nomination. He needed the majority of delegates to vote against Trump-endorsed Hernandez, which didn't end up happening despite a long procedural fight that pitted Macomb County grassroots against the so-called establishment.

Of note: Glenn Youngkin, the Republican governor of Virginia, came to Lansing to stump for Michigan's Republican ticket at the rally, which left some wondering about a potential 2024 presidential campaign.

Bottom line: A party in desperate need of unity found some, but not without some division.

Tudor Dixon and Shane Hernandez
Shane Hernandez and Tudor Dixon on stage at the convention. Behind the podium is party chairman Ron Weiser, who was booed by delegates for most of the convention. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios
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