“Far-right election denier beats Trump’s pick for Michigan GOP”


Republicans here, reeling from a midterm election rout that many blamed on the influence of former president Donald Trump, respondedSaturdayby spurning the former president’s choice for state party chair — and choosing someone even more extreme.

Kristina Karamo, who refused to concede her 14-point loss for secretary of state in 2022, beat former attorney general candidate Matt DePerno, who had Trump’s endorsement, in three rounds of contentious voting. The chaotic 11-hour convention, featuring a rowdy standoff over voting procedures and 10 candidates who all ran under a pro-Trump banner, left no doubt that the bulk of the party’s activists in thiskey battleground state remain firmly committed to election denial and showed no interest in moderating their message to appeal to the political center.

“Conceding to a fraudulent person is agreeing with the fraud, which I will not do,” Karamo said to cheers in her campaign speech on Saturday.

The outcome also dealt a tactical defeat to Trump, even though all the candidates competed for aligning themselves with him. Many delegates said they discounted or even resented Trump’s involvement in the race, especially after a midterm cycle that saw widespread wrangling over his down-ballot endorsements in the state.

“We love Donald Trump, but he don’t live here,” said Mark Forton, another candidate for chair who endorsed Karamo.

In a Thursday speech to a right-wing “patriot” group in nearby Charlotte, Karamo argued that Christianity belonged at the core of American politics, called evolution “one of the biggest frauds ever perpetuated on society,” and asserted the existence of demons.

“When we start talking about the spiritual reality of the demonic forces, it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, this is crazy, we can’t go there,’” Karamo said. “No. It’s like, did you read the Bible? Didn’t Jesus perform exorcisms? … Scriptures are clear. And so if we’re not operating as though the spirit realities of the world exist, we’re going to fail every time.”

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