LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump endorsed Tudor Dixon in Michigan on Friday. crowded Republican gubernatorial primary, just days before voters choose an opponent to face Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“She is for God, she is for guns and she is for freedom, and no one will stop her!” Trump said in a statement announcing his endorsement of her.
Trump’s endorsement came shortly after his former education secretary, Betsy DeVos, urged him to join her in endorsing Dixon, and despite Dixon’s opponents noting that DeVos resigned from Trump’s cabinet shortly after the insurrection. from January 6, 2021.
dixon, a conservative commentator he is also endorsed by Michigan’s Right to Life, former Governor John Engler and some of the state’s top legislative leaders. He’s also financially supported by a couple of super PACs tied to DeVos, who is from Michigan.
Dixon has said she will fight to keep drag queens out of schools and opposes abortion except to save the life of the mother. Dixon held a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida earlier this year, where the former president called it “special.”
Dixon’s opponents include businessman Kevin Rinke, chiropractor Garrett Soldano, and real estate broker Ryan Kelley, who was charged with misdemeanors for his actions during the insurrection at the US Capitol.
Trump’s endorsement has at times made the difference, often outweighing the power of his endorsement. But is he also suffered some high-profile setbacks with some of your options.
Trump lost Michigan by some 154,000 votes in 2020, and multiple audits and courts, as well as a Republican-led state Senate investigation, confirmed that result. But all of the Republican gubernatorial candidates say there was fraud, and all but Rinke have said they believe Trump stole the election.
Rinke and the Democratic Governors Association have spent large sums on television ads attacking Dixon in the run-up to the primary.
Rinke’s television ad claims that Dixon is backed by the “never Trumper leaders of the RINO establishment”, using the derisive acronym for “Republican in name only”.
The Democratic Governors Association’s $2 million ad buy fuels claims that Dixon’s budget plan would force widespread layoffs of police officers; she has said that this is false.
“Obviously, they’re desperate to get me out of this. They don’t want me to run against Gretchen,” Dixon told The Associated Press after the final Republican gubernatorial debate on Wednesday.
DeVos, in his Friday letter to Trump, said they should work together to pick Dixon, calling her “the only one who can go toe-to-toe with ‘that woman from Michigan,'” a term Trump used for Whitmer instead of calling her by name in 2020.
Whoever makes it out of the Aug. 2 primary will face an uphill battle against Whitmer, who has nearly $15 million set aside, more than the five Republicans combined.
Joey Cappelletti is a staff member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercover issues.