A pair of election conspiracists just won the Republican Party's backing in Michigan, cementing Donald Trump's control of the state party there.
Matt DePerno and Kristina Karamo won the GOP's endorsement in their races for attorney general and secretary of state, respectively, and conservative columnist Amanda Carpenter said in her latest for The Bulwark that their ascension reveals a troubling concern for the Republican Party in Michigan.
"Reasonable people would have to hope DePerno and Karamo get blown out in the general election and are never heard from again," Carpenter writes. "Their outlandish insistence that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump has led to considerable fractures within the Michigan Republican Party. As such, they’re viewed as longshots who will be unable to unite the party, win over independents, and beat the incumbent Democrats, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson."
But the GOP seems more concerned with appeasing Trump's ego than actually winning the election.
"The major factor in their success at the convention on Saturday was Trump’s seal of approval," Carpenter wrote. "In a February 21 letter to Michigan delegates endorsing DePerno, Trump said he was 'fully invested' in Michigan and 'eager to see this state flip red once again.' And Trump has followed through: He has made himself available for Mar-a-Lago fundraisers, tele-townhalls, and rallies for the candidates."
Karamo rose to prominence as a volunteer "poll challenger" whose wild claims made the rounds on right-wing media, and she has claimed witnesses who testified before the Jan. 6 committee are "actors and actresses" and said disloyal Republicans “should be legally removed from their position.”
DePerno, for his part, has promised to prosecute the sitting secretary of state and governor for alleged “unconstitutional and criminal acts” and claimed to have briefed then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo's staff on election fraud conspiracies on Jan. 6, 2021.
"If one MAGA conspiracy theorist were to occupy the state’s highest law enforcement office and another were the state’s top elections official, it’s easy to imagine Republican electoral losses being overturned," Carpenter wrote. "The fix would be in."