LANSING — As has been previously noted, the outcome of the 2020 election continues to expose fault lines within the MIGOP as party insiders dictate orders urging the rank and file grassroots to shift focus to the next cycle.
So far, their attempts have been largely unsuccessful, a reality reflected most starkly in the crowded gubernatorial primary featuring 12 candidates. New reporting from MLive details just how deep their fixation on religitating the presidential election goes, with Mike Brown being the only candidate to “[offer] a simple ‘no’ when asked if fraud had reversed the results of the 2020 election.”
MLive: Nearly Half Of Michigan’s Republican Candidates for Governor Believe Fraud Put President Joe Biden in Office
By Emily Lawler
Former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, and President Joe Biden won it. But with the former president and his allies making unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, nearly half of the Republicans running to be the next governor of Michigan say they believe fraud reversed the results of the 2020 election.
MLive interviewed all 12 Republicans who have formed candidate committees to run for governor between Sept. 24 and Sept. 27, most in person at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference. One question on the list was whether they believed fraud had reversed the results of the 2020 election.
Five — Articia Bomer, Ryan Kelley, Evan Space, Bob Scott and Ralph Rebandt — said they did believe fraud reversed the results of the 2020 election.
“I think that if there was no voter fraud or anything like that, I think that there might have been a change to the election and that Trump might have won, yes,” Space said.
To date, no legal challenge or legislative inquiry has substantiated claims of widespread fraud in Michigan or nationally. Joe Biden won Michigan by 154,000 votes. […]
Only one candidate, Michigan State Police Capt. Mike Brown, offered a simple “no” when asked if fraud had reversed the results of the 2020 election.
“No, there’s very, there’s a lot of people concerned nationally about changes in election laws and 2020. That election is done. So, I know there’s people looking into voter fraud in different areas. I support them looking into that to make sure we have a safe and secure election,” he said.
James Craig, the former Detroit Police Chief who is considered a frontrunner in the race, also seemed to answer in the negative, saying he hadn’t seen any investigation that suggested fraud had swayed the election.
“However, I don’t take lightly the concerns of so many in our state, who’ve expressed that there was fraud,” he said, saying he would be open to an audit and supports requiring identification to vote.
Rodericka Applewhaite, senior communications advisor for the Michigan Democratic Party, pointed out on Twitter over the weekend that a “Trump Won” flag visible in some photos from the Mackinac Republican Policy Conference had been blurred out in a photo on the candidate’s Facebook page.
Other gubernatorial candidates MLive asked whether fraud had reversed the results of the election gave answers that landed somewhere in a grey area, saying they didn’t have all the information or talking about election changes without addressing what underpinned those concerns. […]
Conservative radio host Tudor Dixon said she believed there was fraud, but didn’t say whether she believed that fraud reversed the results of the election. […]
The candidates’ answers come as the party is walking a thin line between looking backward at the 2020 election and focusing dead ahead on 2022, where they are hopeful their candidates can retake some of the state’s top offices. Aside from the governor’s race, the Attorney General, Secretary of State and legislature will all be up for election.
A straw poll at the conference sponsored by The Detroit News found that election integrity was the number one issue attendees said was the most important to them, the paper reported. […]