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Dueling Michigan GOP conventions planned for presidential nomination

Pete Hoekstra
Pete Hoekstra plans a March 2 presidential caucus convention for the Michigan GOP. (Bridge file photo by Jonathan Oosting)
  • Two Republicans claiming control of the Michigan GOP plan separate presidential caucus conventions for March 2
  • Pete Hoekstra will announce details Friday; Kristina Karamo has already touted plans for a gathering at the Huntington Place in Detroit
  • The convention will help determine whether Donald Trump or Nikki Haley will be the GOP’s presidential nominee

LANSING — Competing Michigan GOP factions plan separate presidential nominating conventions amid an ongoing leadership feud between Pete Hoekstra and Kristina Karamo, both of whom claim to be state party chair. 

Hoekstra, who is backed by President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee, said Friday he plans to announce a new March 2 convention, even though Karamo has already done the same.


“There will be district caucus meetings under a single roof on March 2,” Hoekstra told Bridge Michigan by email, saying he will announce the location later Friday.

Karamo previously announced a March 2 caucus convention at Huntington Place in Detroit, where she has told delegates to also be prepared to vote to resolve her leadership fight with Hoekstra.


One of the conventions – it’s not immediately clear which – will ultimately help decide the Republican presidential nomination race between former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Halley. 

Under a plan previously approved by the RNC, the Michigan GOP will allocate 16 of its delegates to a July national nominating convention based on results of the state’s Feb. 27 primary. The rest – 39 delegates – will be allocated based on the results of congressional district caucuses at the March 2 convention.

The RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the competing Michigan conventions. 

But it’s “very likely, if not certain” the national party would seat delegates from Hoekstra’s convention since it has already recognized him as state party chair, Oakland County GOP Chair Vance Patrick said X.

The RNC’s executive committee on Wednesday voted to recognize Hoekstra. A separate review panel determined Karamo was properly removed in a Jan. 6 state committee vote organized by critics, who cited her lackluster fundraising performance.

Karamo should “end her misinformation campaign,” and give up control of the party, Hoekstra said earlier this week. “She should join the fight to re-elect Donald Trump rather than dividing this party.”

Hoekstra is organizing fundraisers, including a Feb. 25 dinner in Novi expected to feature Ohio businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who endorsed Trump after ending his own presidential campaign last month.

Karamo alleges the Jan. 6 vote to remove her was illegitimate and accused the national party of “sabotage.”


Trump is scheduled to hold a get out the vote rally Saturday in Oakland County, where Karamo said she expects him to again back Hoekstra. 

“Although we love President Trump…who serves as the Michigan Republican Party chair is not his decision; it's yours,” Karamo told fellow Republicans in a Thursday email. “We live in Michigan and know what's best for Michigan.”

Karamo was elected just one year ago after a failed run for secretary of state, a contest she has refused to concede. Earlier this week, she told Bridge she won’t relinquish control of the state party unless she is ordered to by a court.

A Kent County judge could soon weigh in. Multiple hearings are scheduled next week over a lawsuit from critics who are seeking to force Karamo to turn over party bank accounts, email and social media, among other things.

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