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Kristina Karamo critics plan Saturday vote to oust Michigan GOP chair, aides

Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo speaking into a microphone
Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo argues the ‘deep state’ is behind efforts to remove her from the post. (Bridge file photo by Jonathan Oosting)
  • Michigan GOP activists plan weekend vote on the ‘possible removal of Chairwoman Kristina Karamo’
  • Critics cite fundraising struggles, intervention in local party disputes
  • Karamo has refused calls to resign, arguing Michigan GOP district chairs are spreading ‘false accusations’

Jan. 9: Kristina Karamo critics to appeal to national party amid Michigan GOP ‘chaos’
Jan. 6: Michigan Republicans vote to oust Kristina Karamo. Court fight next?

LANSING — Michigan Republican Party activists seeking to oust Chair Kristina Karamo plan to meet Saturday for a vote on her removal. 

"A lot of people, one way or another, are just ready to put this to bed," said Bree Moeggenberg, a Michigan GOP state committee member who called for the special meeting in Commerce Township.


Karamo supporters contend the meeting was not property called so won't be legitimate, setting up a dramatic showdown that could spur a court battle over leadership of the Michigan GOP at the start of a critical election year. 


The planned meeting follows nearly a year of controversy and sluggish fundraising for the Michigan GOP. 

A onetime Secretary of State candidate, Karamo became chair in February 2023 with grassroots support and a pledge to woo small-dollar donors because traditional contributors had signaled they would withhold support. 

Karamo has struggled to raise money, prompting an attempt to sell the Michigan GOP’s former headquarters in Lansing, and she has frustrated some activists by intervening in local party disputes. 

Critics contend they have the votes to remove Karamo, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. 

The agenda for Saturday's meeting, obtained by Bridge Michigan, includes

proposed bylaw changes and votes on the “possible removal of Chairwoman Kristina Karamo,” along with general counsel Dan Hartman, Chief of Staff Jim Copas and communications director Robert Owens.

Momentum for a possible Karamo ouster vote grew in recent weeks when her own party co-chair, Melinda Pego, signed a petition calling for a removal vote.

"Due to a series of decisions and actions there is a growing consensus among party members that a thorough review of the chair’s position is both necessary and appropriate," Pego wrote in a Dec. 22 email to fellow Michigan Republicans. 

Last week, eight of the party's 13 congressional district chairs called on Karamo to resign.

"You were chosen as Chairwoman because the majority of the Republican delegates strongly respected your commitment to a new era of transparency, honesty and meaningful involvement on the part of the State Committee," the district chair wrote in a joint message to Karamo. 

"Regrettably, these policies no longer seem to be a priority in your administration and the Party’s financial stability is quickly deteriorating."

Signers included Sue Allor (District 1 chair), Andrew Sebolt (District 2), JD Glaser (District 5), Dan Wholihan (District 7) Anne DeLisle (District 8), Barb Zinner (District 10), William Rauwerdink (District 11) and Jessica Toth (District 12).

Resignation is "just not going to happen," Karamo said in a Michigan GOP podcast published Friday, accusing the district chairs of making "false accusations" and questioning their focus entering the 2024 election cycle. 

"Before we jump to conclusions and make accusations, we have to realize when we do that, it actually is harmful to us as a group — not to me personally, because I don't take any of this personal," Karamo said. 

Karamo, an Oak Park election denier who refused to concede her double-digit loss in the 2022 Secretary of State race, has previously blamed the "deep state" for the growing internal opposition to her leadership.

In a weekend email to fellow Republicans, the Michigan GOP argued that "agents of the globalist elite do not want Karamo's administration to flourish" because that "would be the biggest threat to their designs."

In a recent email to fellow Republicans, Karamo supporter Heath Wall argued that any call for a special meeting would be invalid because Karamo already called for a meeting herself for later in the month. 

"They cannot conduct any official business on behalf of the Michigan Republican Party, or the state committee," wrote Wall, who did not respond to a Tuesday voicemail from Bridge. 

Warren Carpenter, a former Karamo supporter now leading efforts to oust her, disputed that and predicted she will not be chair by next week.


"Absolutely not," Carpenter said, noting his previous pledges to remove her. "Promises made, promises kept."

Karamo critics had previously talked to GOP consultant Scott Greenlee about serving as the next party chair but say he removed his name from consideration months ago when he began working on former U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer's U.S. Senate campaign. 

Moeggenberg, the state committee member who called for the Saturday meeting, said she “will not even entertain the thoughts of who will potentially step into this position until we've actually unseated” Karamo.

If Karamo is removed, Pego would serve as temporary chair until the state committee selects a permanent replacement, according to party bylaws. 

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