Trump dominates Michigan GOP convention amid party turmoil

Former President Donald J. Trump eliminated Republican delegates in Michigan on Saturday during a tense convention, further exposing a deep rift in the state party.

Republican Party pioneer Mr. Trump, Mr. She won at least 90 percent of the vote in all but one of the state's 13 congressional districts against former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations under Trump.

Along with 12 other winners in Michigan's primary on Tuesday, Mr. Trump needed a simple majority in each district to win a share of the delegates in a caucus-style event, giving him 39 votes. Ms. Haley emerged from that race with four delegates.

Earlier in the week Mr. Trump's dominance left little doubt about the outcome of Saturday's convention at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Mich.

But the protracted fight over the rightful chairman of the state party spilled over into the proceedings, where 200 Republican party leaders from about 20 of Michigan's 83 counties were denied credentials. Two groups boycotted the event and held breakaway conferences, one more than 100 miles to the north in Houghton Lake, Mich. and another 50 miles southeast to Battle Creek, Mich.

Many of the denied credentials are tied to Christina Karamo, whom party leaders voted to remove as state party leader in January. Mr. for the Netherlands. They replaced him with Pete Hoekstra, a former US representative who was Trump's ambassador.

On Saturday, not all of Ms. Karamo's supporters were out: Mr. As Hoekstra spoke, a group from Saginaw County jeered and made thumbs-up gestures. He acknowledged the friction.

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“It might be a little unfair,” said Mr. Hoekstra told delegates that during a caucus, a chandelier in a ballroom and President Gerald R. Ford's portrait is complete. Grand Rapids.

Mr. Hoekstra, speaking to reporters, denied the credential snub was an act of retaliation, saying the returnees had not properly registered for the conference.

Ernest Dugan, a Saginaw County representative and supporter of Ms. Karamo, said he was disgusted by the actions of party leaders, who criticized him for the party's money problems and governance issues.

“The whole thing stinks where you know,” said Mr. Dugan said.

A black Republican, he said he was concerned about the message the party would send by expelling Ms. Karamo, who is black.

“A person of color wants to be on your team,” he said, “so you kick her to the curb?”

As of Friday, a rival conference planned by Ms. Karamo months ago will be held in Grand Rapids by Mr. It seemed likely to compete with a convention organized by Hoekstra and endorsed by the Republican National Committee. But after a series of court defeats challenging her removal as party chairman, Ms. Karamo shelved her plans to hold the event in Detroit.

“We need to unite around Hoekstra,” said Genesee County Republican Party Chairman Jay A. Fedeva said. “It's sad that they don't want to do that.”

His victory in Michigan in the 2016 election catapulted him to the presidency. Trump, then in 2020 Joseph R. He lost the state to Biden Jr. and Mr. recognized Hoekstra as leader.

Debra Ell, a party leader from Saginaw County, split loyalties between Ms. Karamo and the former president.

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“Almost everyone, honestly — we love Trump — but not everyone who endorsed Trump in Michigan won,” said Ms. El, who wore a pin with a picture of Ms. Karamo. “So bless his heart. We love him, but stay out of our politics.

At the conference, a delegate suffered a heart attack, Mr. Trump outdid his performance in the primary on Tuesday. Mr. Hoekstra attributes the former president's success to the fact that the process is limited to Republicans. The primaries in Michigan are open to all voters regardless of party affiliation.

“These guys are focused on winning in November,” he said. “Right? Not fighting with other Republicans.

Still, a woman held up a sign that read “Hoekstra is a crook.”

At a breakaway meeting in Houghton Lake, about 300 Republicans who boycotted the Grand Rapids convention cast their own ballots to award delegates. All the votes went to Mr Trump.

Former state Rep. Dair Renton — who faces felony charges of voting machine tampering after the 2020 election — is Mr. A man intent on reversing Trump's defeat — headed the show. For the QAnon Conspiracy Movement – wearing a blue Trump hat with a Q pin.

“This is not going to affect the national elections,” Ms. Renton said. “But what it does is affect the party in our state, because what we've done is we've gone back to the old white party, and we've led a new grassroots party led by Christina Karamo. A younger, more energetic version of the rebirth of the Republican Party, the values ​​that the Republican Party has always said it stands for. embraces the collection.”

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The breakaway group then held a straw poll, asking Ms Karamo's supporters to stand down. They are Mr. They did the same to Hoekstra; No one stood up for him.

“We have a unanimous vote,” Ms. Renton said.

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