Michigan Dems look ahead to November as MIGOP Senate race somehow gets messier

LANSING — This week, Michiganders cast their ballots in the state’s first election as an early primary state, with the voices of Michiganders better representing the diversity of the country. This historic occasion highlighted the success of Democratic efforts to expand early voting — with more than one million votes cast before Election Day. 

As the votes rolled in, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party Lavora Barnes spread the message far and wide: we knew an early primary would bring energy and excitement, now our focus turns to beating Trump. She appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, spoke to PBS Newshour, CNN’s Jake Tapper, and many more to show that the primary was just the beginning of how Democrats are organizing for November’s election. 

What’s our plan for the next 8 months? The Chair said it best, “I don’t worry, I work!

On the other side of the aisle, chaos continued with a new episode of Keeping Up with Karamo’s Court Cases. And, since the Michigan Republican Senate Race didn’t have enough far-right Senate hopefuls parading as moderates, Justin Amash entered the race to give Michiganders yet another radical, out-of-touch candidate. 

Former Representative Justin Amash, a supporter of dangerous abortion bans and tax breaks for the ultra-rich, entered the “brutal intraparty battle,”“bloodbath” primary already jam-packed with extremists. Exciting times! 

Take a look at how the week unfolded for the parties in Michigan below:

For Democrats, this week was about putting in the work. 

Before the polls opened, Michigan leaders up and down the ballot were calling voters, knocking on doors, and working to get out the vote. Volunteers also teamed up with countless surrogates like Senator Amy Klobuchar who lent a helping hand to get out the vote: 

On Tuesday, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party Lavora Barnes uplifted the significance and impact of Michigan’s new status as an early primary state

“The energy and enthusiasm we saw around this early primary in Michigan is why we fought so hard for it. Now we will bring this energy forward to the general election where the choice between Joe Biden and Donald Trump couldn’t be more clear. Do we want a President who spreads hate and division or a president who fights for all of us? We look forward to making our voices heard again in November when we will reject Donald Trump’s MAGA extremism and ensure that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can continue to deliver for Michiganders. Michigan Democrats are ready to get to work from now through election day because the stakes could not be higher.”

Chair Barnes has been spreading the message far and wide — Michigan Democrats are looking forward to November. On the airwaves, she uplifted Democrats’ hard work in the primary and reminded folks that this set the stage for November when we will send Joe Biden and Kamala Harris back to the White House. We know we have a lot of work to do to remind Michiganders of the stakes of the coming election, and we are already rolling up our sleeves and hitting the doors to deliver Michigan once again: 

PBS NewsHour:

CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper:

MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

As an added bonus, our Project 83 team got a well-deserved shout-out in the Huffington Post for all of their incredible organizing. We are so grateful for them, and we’re glad they got a fraction of the recognition that they deserve: 

HuffPost: Joe Biden Wins Michigan Democratic Primary

For Republicans, the week was not nearly so pleasant. 

In Tuesday’s dramatic series finale of Keeping Up with Karamo’s Court Cases, the Kent County judge ruled against Karamo and stated that she can no longer call herself the Chair, call any meetings, or conduct any official business under the title of the Michigan Republican Party. This officially concluded the MIGOP Chair Battle — declaring Hoesktra the winner and ousting Karamo. Kristina, it’s been great watching you this season, thank you for the legacy of chaos you have left behind that we’re sure Hoekstra will continue: 

NBC News: Judge rules against Kristina Karamo in messy Michigan GOP leadership dispute

  • The ruling Tuesday, though, “prohibits” Karamo from “holding herself out as Chair of the Michigan Republican State Committee,” “calling any meeting of the Michigan Republican State Committee” and “conducting, or attempting to conduct, any business in the name of the Michigan Republican State Committee or the Michigan Republican Party…”
  • [Previously] Karamo has refused to leave the post, even after Trump and the RNC weighed in against her. She has maintained access to the Michigan GOP bank, email and social media accounts, hamstringing Hoekstra’s efforts to take full control of the party.

By Thursday, Justin Amash clearly thought the MIGOP had been calm for too long and threw his hat in the ring for the Michigan Senate race, joining fellow right-wing extremists Mike Rogers, Sandy Pensler, Peter Meijer, and the seven other candidates, rounding the race to an even 12. Finally, enough for a lacrosse team in the local extremist anti-abortion league! 

It’s still anyone’s guess how this “brutal intraparty battle” will turn out, but as Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party Lavora Barnes pointed out, this ugly fight will leave them with a candidate who is deeply out of touch with Michigan values: 

Washington Post: Justin Amash, congressman who left GOP, announces Senate run in Michigan

  • Amash announced an exploratory committee for the Senate seat in January, calling the current contenders “uninspired, unserious, and unprepared” to take tackle the country’s challenges…
  • The Michigan Democratic Party responded to Amash’s announcement by highlighting the “brutal infighting” among the state’s Republicans. The state party leader, Lavora Barnes, predicted in a statement that the GOP’s “caustic showdown will leave them with a badly damaged nominee who is out of touch with Michigan families.”

This week was thrilling and historic, and it showed the foundation that Democrats have built to spread the message of Biden’s significant investment in Michigan. It also showed that the MIGOP still hasn’t figured out how to run a functional party, but that’s not news. We’re proud of our team and excited about the work to come. Til next week. 

Signing off, 

Michigan Dems 


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