Welcome to the very last one of these before Michigan Republicans begin throwing darts at their ballots and seeing who it lands on, as no one in this “weird, weird race for guv” is treating the last few weeks of this primary like the essence it is. Here’s all the twists and turns you’ve missed.
Who? (R-Gov) Continues to Run Away With It
Yes, as expected in this cycle that has been defined by lies, damned lies, and a crowded Republican field that keeps jostling for the position of most dedicated far-right extremist, known and charged insurrectionist Ryan Kelley is continuing to dominate the field. However despite the “tremendous amount of exposure” he’s claimed has come after his FBI raid and arrest, voters are still apparently grappling with the James Craig petition fraud own-goal that “unceremoniously booted” him from the ballot. Nearly half of Republican primary voters remain undecided with just five full days to go before they can start casting their ballots.
We do have to concede though that finding out you’ve maintained your newfound frontrunner status hours before you’re due in federal district court is a bit of a flex, but still largely a very sad indictment of what qualifies as leadership for the MIGOP these days.
Ryan Kelley Just May be the Unity Candidate Everyone Has Been Waiting For
We said this last week, but it’s worth repeating that gubernatorial Republicans and MIGOP leadership couldn’t defend Kelley fast enough, tripping over themselves to hurl whatever FBI conspiracy theories they could to cover for the fact that he was arrested on criminal charges for participating in the violent insurrection on January 6th, 2021 that resulted in five deaths and 140 injured law enforcement officers.
We have no doubt that support continued even as a federal judge concluded that he may be a flight risk and continued threat to citizens of the same democracy he tried to overthrow.
MIGOP Insiders Scramble to Settle the Field
You’d think after getting behind James Craig (only to have his campaign implode multiple times over before the final nail in the coffin), and then Perry Johnson (only to also succumb to the same nominating petition fraud as Craig), the invisible hands over at MIGOP would’ve been slapped enough time to keep things honest and treat it like a fair race for once.
But yet again, the marionette strings are back in play, this time for Tudor Dixon in the hopes that she can cool a volatile race with a violent frontrunner. Yesterday, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce got behind her, following endorsements from Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, the DeVos family, and Right to Life Michigan.
The Chamber getting behind someone that has backed a “piss-poor public policy proposal” to slash funding the infrastructural improvements our economy needs to keep thriving and cheered on the Ambassador Bridge blockade that impacted commerce and the auto industry is quite the choice, to say the least. But hey, we understand the pickings are slim.
James Craig is Back in This Thing, Baby
…or something like that. We’re still scratching our heads from James Craig’s positively unhinged joint interview with Perry Johnson in which the sub-quality guru basically told him he was too broke to run and stressed that he wants no parts of his ticket. But the former frontrunner did follow through on his promise to keep things nice and volatile by filing as a write-in candidate on Tuesday. No stranger to garbage rollouts, this one was up there for a man that continues to openly admit to having no idea how campaigns work.
Craig kept it equally candid as he told reporters post-filing that his new “pare[d] down” operation has less staff on the payroll, likely because fundraising has been “problematic” and he needs to front ‘potential TV radio ads’ that he can’t even afford to air from now through August. But other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
Congratulations are in Order to Dick DeVos
Statewide losses are hard, just ask two-time loser John James. But it is particularly tough to lose the stench of a campaign in which you were working with more money than God. However, Dick DeVos blowing $35.5 million of his personal fortune to still lose to far less flush Jennifer Granholm by over 500,000 votes seems like a fire sale compared to Perry Johnson’s return on investment. The sub-quality guru has now taken DeVos’ title as losingest candidate in Michigan history, after burning more than $7 million of his own dollars to not net a single vote.
Oh also, a federal judge refused his completely detached from reality request to “halt the printing of ballots for the GOP primary or to put his name on the ballot for governor” since he couldn’t show how failing to submit enough valid signatures was anyone else’s problem but his own. That pesky judicial system, at it again.