As Michigan Republicans wait to find out who the leader of their party is, former President Donald Trump has already made his choice – and it’s former Congressman and former Ambassador to the Trump administration, Pete Hoekstra.

Trump endorses a Karamo opponent for the second time

Although originally-elected MIGOP Chair Kristina Karamo had received Trump’s endorsement to become Michigan’s Secretary of State when she ran against Democratic opponent Dana Nessel, she didn’t get his endorsement when she ran for the Chair position in January of 2023. Instead, Trump endorsed former attorney general candidate Matt DePerno.

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Party infighting since Karamo became Chair over her alleged mismanagement of the party has resulted in state committee members removing her from her post in January, a post she has yet to relinquish even though the Republican National Committee (RNC) recently said that those committee members removed her “properly” and was no longer credentialed for the state’s winter meeting.

What did Trump say?

On Friday night on Trump’s social media platform Truth Social, the former president endorsed Hoekstra for the Chair position saying, “I look forward to working with Ambassador Pete Hoekstra as Chairman of The Republican Party of Michigan. He is a winner who was a GREAT Congressman from Michigan and, likewise, did a fantastic job as Ambassador to the Netherlands. Pete will make The Republican Party of Michigan GREAT AGAIN, and has my Complete and Total Endorsement to be its Chairman – HE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN!”

Hoekstra, on the social media platform X, was grateful for the former president’s endorsement and said, “Thank you Mr. President. I’m honored. We will win Michigan for you, for America!”

The endorsement wasn’t solicited by Hoekstra, the former Congressman tells Michigan News Source. He actually hasn’t seen the president in a while. So it was out of the blue when Trump called him to ask if he wanted his endorsement and when. The timing couldn’t have been better with a lawsuit and the RNC winter meeting coming up next week.

What does the endorsement mean?

Trump’s endorsement of Hoekstra has no legal bearing on who the Chair is but it adds political weight to the Hoekstra faction of the party in the middle of the battle to control the state party.

The Hoekstra faction of the party has filed a lawsuit in Kent County Circuit Court in Grand Rapids alleging breach of contract against the Karamo faction of the party. They hope to have Karamo official removed as Chair of the state party. A hearing is set for Tuesday.

How will it end?

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Both parties are also awaiting any decisions about the leadership of the party that might come out of the RNC’s winter meeting next week where they said they will move quickly to review the dispute and make an appropriate recommendation.

Karamo continues to remain defiant against all opposition, saying that the RNC’s letter about her being property removed was “politically motivated to try and further intimidate her and her team.” And, according to the Detroit News, she sent them a text message on Friday night saying that Trump’s endorsement “absolutely” doesn’t change anything.

Jason Roe, a longtime Republican political consultant and former executive director of the Michigan GOP has a different opinion and told the media outlet, “Karamo and her allies can no longer claim that they are the heirs of MAGA, fighting for the future of the country and against the globalists and the uni-party…Their leader has spoken.”