Donald Trump to return to Michigan to stump for DePerno, Karamo
LANSING – Former President Donald Trump is set to return to Michigan on April 2 to urge Republican Party precinct delegates to support his preferred candidates for state attorney general and secretary of state.
Trump will hold a rally at 7 p.m. at Michigan Stars Sports Center in Washington Township, according to an advisory released Friday by his political action committee.
The speech is three weeks before the Michigan Republican Party convention, when precinct delegates will vote to endorse a nominee for attorney general, secretary of state and other down-ticket races that will not be on the ballot in the August primary.
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Trump has endorsed Matt DePerno for attorney general, stumped for him at a Mar-A-Lago fundraiser and written what he called a “violent” letter to Michigan GOP delegates that lambasted fellow candidate Tom Leonard, a former state House speaker who won the party’s nomination in 2018 but lost the general election to Democrat Dana Nessel.
The former president is also backing Kristina Karamo for Secretary of State over state Rep. Beau LaFave and Chesterfield Township Clerk Cindy Berry.
DePerno, who is expected on stage at the former president’s rally, has teased the Trump visit for weeks. In a fundraising email earlier Friday, DePerno promised a "HUUUGE announcement” later in the day that would “fundamentally change this race.”
Karamo and DePerno both rose to prominence following the 2020 presidential election by repeating Trump’s unsubstantiated claims the contest was “rigged” against him.
Karamo was a GOP poll challenger at Detroit’s absentee counting board. DePerno was the lead attorney in a state that challenged results in Antrim County and spawned global conspiracy theories about Dominion voting machines that the company maintains are categorically false.
Democratic President Joe Biden beat Trump by 154,188 votes in Michigan. A Republican-led Senate oversight panel that spent months investigating the election found no evidence of widespread fraud and said Michigan voters should trust the outcome.
While some Republicans fear DePerno and Karamo could hurt the party in the general election, Michigan GOP co-chair Meshawn Maddock this week joined Trump in endorsing both candidates, an unusual move given the party’s pledge to remain neutral in the contested races.
“Meshawn's endorsement is on a personal level, not in her party role,” Michigan GOP spokesperson Gustavo Portela told Bridge Michigan.
LaFave, an Iron Mountain Republican running for Secretary of State, told Bridge Michigan he was "disappointed" that Maddock endorsed Karamo. He called it a "really bad idea" because he believes he will still win the endorsement convention.
Leonard said in a statement that he remains “focused every day on uniting this party and putting together a campaign that will defeat Dana Nessel.”
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