Matt Maddock, a Trump favorite, ousted from Michigan GOP caucus
LANSING — State Rep. Matt Maddock, a Trump loyalist and husband of a top Michigan Republican Party official, was kicked out of the House GOP caucus on Tuesday, according to multiple sources familiar with the development.
Sources say current House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Wentworth, booted Maddock for "violating caucus rules." He allegedly discussed confidential caucus matters publicly, prompting his removal.
Maddock did not immediately return a voicemail seeking comment.
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As of Tuesday evening, the Milford lawmaker's page on the Michigan House Republican website was no longer active. One source told Bridge Michigan that Maddock was cut off from GOP central staff and services about a month ago amid similar caucus concerns.
Wentworth, through his office, declined comment.
Maddock is vying to be the Michigan House GOP's next leader. Trump has endorsed him to replace Wentworth, who is term limited. State Rep. Matt Hall, R-Marshall, is considered a frontrunner for the post.
Maddock is married to Meshawn Maddock, co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party. Together, they have been instrumental in helping a slew of state House candidates secure endorsements from Trump.
Through his leadership PAC, Maddock has donated campaign funds to several Trump-endorsed candidates, including at least one who is challenging a GOP incumbent: Mick Bricker of Spring Lake is running against state Rep. Greg VanWoerkom of Norton Shores.
It's part of an effort by Trump to turn the Michigan Legislature into a "MAGA operation," according to former White House advisor Steve Bannon.
Maddock's ouster from the House GOP caucus comes as the Trump wing of the Michigan Republican Party was riding a high, securing endorsements at a weekend state convention of candidates aligned with the former president and his unfounded claims of voter fraud.
The caucus ouster means Maddock will no longer be able to meet with House Republicans behind closed doors to discuss legislative and session strategy ahead of floor votes. He is not expected to lose committee assignments, according to a source.
It's a rare development in the Michigan Legislature. House Republicans last removed a lawmaker, state Rep. Larry Inman of Williamsburg, from their caucus in 2019 after he was accused of bribery, extortion and lying to an FBI agent, charges he ultimately beat.
Maddock and GOP leadership had been at odds for months, according to a source with first-hand knowledge, who said tensions have escalated since Maddock criticized Wentworth in a speech to students at Hillsdale College.
In a Facebook post last month, Maddock's wife discussed his fundraising efforts and touted a company owned by a candidate primary challenging incumbent GOP state Rep. Andrew Fink of Adams Township.
Last weekend, Maddock sent out a fundraising email for Bricker and other candidates.
As of Wednesday morning, Maddock had not publicly addressed his caucus ouster or responded to media inquiries. On Facebook, he posted and then defended a quote misattributed to Mahatma Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Speaking with Bridge Michigan at a recent Trump rally in Macomb County, Maddock said he was confident he would get enough support from colleagues to become the next House Speaker — provided Republicans retain their majority after fall elections.
"Let's concentrate on winning the majority first, before we talk about the next House Speaker," he said.
Trump in November backed Maddock's bid to be the next House GOP leader.
"I am with you all the way," the former president wrote in a note to the second-term lawmaker. "Also, you have a great wife."
In an endorsement statement, Trump said Maddock could help “drain the Lansing swamp” and “investigate and document the 2020 voter fraud, the Crime of the Century.”
Numerous audits and an investigation by Senate Republicans have concluded there was no widespread fraud in 2020 and upheld President Joe Biden’s victory in Michigan.
Maddock and his wife assisted in Trump's efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in December of that year, when they unsuccessfully tried to seat an "alternative slate" of electors who were denied entry to the Michigan Capitol.
Maddock later spearheaded a letter asking then-Vice President Mike Pence to not to certify the official Michigan electors pledged to Biden, who won the state by 154,188 votes.
Maddock also has attempted to impeach Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her COVID-19 orders.
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