LANSING, Mich. (MIRS News) –The political action committees of the Michigan Freedom Fund and the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) finished Tuesday night by winning in 23 of the 29 contested legislative Republican primaries they chose to spend money in.
Freedom Fund and GLEP count the DeVos family has major sponsors, but they are not the only sponsors. GLEP is the school choice and voucher crowd, which are separate issues from the Freedom Fund’s workplace freedom and free marketplace mission.
Meanwhile, the Michigan Trump Republicans finished Tuesday with a losing record of 20-25 on its endorsements of legislative candidates. The Michigan Trump Republicans is not Donald Trump making an endorsement.
Trump in Michigan legislative races was 5 for 10.
This is a group of people who have adopted his Make America Great Again (MAGA) slogan and give endorsements based on who they believe best reflects Trump’s mission.
The Michigan Trump Republicans tend to adopt a Michigan First agenda and are connected with the Oakland County-based Michigan Conservative Coalition, led by Rosanne Ponkowski. Among the group’s more familiar members are Matt and Meshawn Maddock.
The two groups went head-to-head 21 times during the Republican legislative primaries. The Freedom Fund/GLEP-endorsed candidates won 15 of those races. The Michigan Trump Republican-endorsed candidate won in five races. In one case, neither candidate won.
The Freedom Fund won with Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) over Mike Detmer in SD-22, Dale Biniecki in HD-31 over Holli Vallade, Rep. Andrew Fink (R-Hillsdale) over Steve Meckley in HD-35, Rep. Pauline Wendzel (R-Watervliet) over Matt Nilson in HD-39, GLEP-endorsed Donnie Steele was picked over Sandy Kiesel in HD-54, Sen. Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Township) over Rep. Terence Mekoski (R-Harrison Twp.) in HD-59, Jay DeBoyer over Jacky Eubanks in HD-63, Rep. Phil Green (R-Millington) over Chad Moore in HD-67, Brian Begole over Kevin Rathbun in HD-71, Rep. Greg Vanwoerkom (R-Norton Shores) over Mick Bricker HD-88, Rep. Graham Filler (R-DeWitt) over Alan Hoover in HD-93, Rep. Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann) over Heather Cerone in HD-103, Rep. John Roth (R-Traverse City) over Katie Kniss in HD-104, Rep. Ken Borton (R-Gaylord) over Kim Morley in HD-105 and Cam Cavitt over Geyer Balog in HD-106.
The Michigan Trump Republicans won over the Freedom Fund with Jonathan Lindsey over Sen. LaSata in SD-17, Bob Howey over Kevin Counts in HD-27th, Rachelle Smit over Lindsey Kronemeyer HD-43, Neil Friske over Parker Fairbairn in HD-107 and Melody Wagner over Ron Gray in HD-109.
The two endorsed different candidates in the 62nd House District GOP primary, but Alicia St. Germaine ended up being victorious.
GLEP had endorsed Jeremiah Keeler in HD-79 over Trump Republican-supported Angela Rigas, but GLEP rescinded the endorsement after the candidate requested GLEP stop mailing in the district. Keeler refunded every dime GLEP had given his campaign.
GLEP/Freedom Fund and the Trump Republicans were on the same page with Rep. Brad Paquette (R-Niles) in HD-37, Michelle Smith in HD-58, Jaime Greene in HD-65, Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Linden) in HD-72 and Mike Hoadley in HD-99. They also are on the same page with several Republicans in no-primary House districts, who were not counted in this total.
The Freedom Fund scored wins independent of the Trump Republicans in the 30th District with pro-Right to Work candidate William Bruck, Kathy Schmaltz in HD-46, Mike Milanowski in HD-84, Bill G. Schuette in HD-99 and Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Twp.) in SD-12.
“The Michigan Freedom Network is proud to help send a conservative governing majority to Lansing to undo the damage caused by four years of Gretchen Whitmer ‘s extreme policies,” said Michigan Freedom Network spokesperson Tori Sachs. “The tidal wave of victories for our freedom candidates are a win for every Michigander who has suffered under Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID lockdowns and the rising prices of gas and groceries.”
The Trump Republicans won with James DeSana in HD-29, Kevin Whiteford in HD-35, Rep. Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers) in HD-36, Jason Woolford in HD-48, Josh Schriver in HD-66, Nancy DeBoer in HD-86, Houston James in SD-4, Jason Rhimes in SD-13 and Rep. Annette Glenn (R-Midland) in SD-35.
They lost with Albert Mansour defeating Diana Mohyi in HD-20, Nicone Dragone losing to Jamie Thompson in HD-28, Rep. Matt Hall (R-Comstock Township) defeating Gary Mitchell in HD-42, Rep. Gary Eisen (R-St. Clair Township) losing to Rep. Andrew Beeler (R-Fort Gratiot) in HD-64, Jon Rocha in HD-79 against Gina Johnsen, Todd Schorle losing to Farm Bureau-endorsed Jerry Neyer in HD-92, Diana Schindlbeck in HD-101 against former Newaygo County Commissioner on the Commission on Aging Joseph Fox, Andrew Sebolt losing to Sen. Curtis Vanderwall (R-Ludington) in HD-102 and George Ranville falling in SD-37 to Rep. John N. Damoose (R-Harbor Springs).
The DeVos family spent money on Rep. Matt Hall (R-Comstock Township) in HD-42, Triston Cole in SD-37 and Schindlbeck in HD-101, but neither GLEP nor the Freedom Fund endorsed.