LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – The Michigan Court of Appeals, on Thursday, declined to intervene in the ongoing leadership dispute within the Michigan Republican Party, dealing a blow to former Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo’s plans for a GOP convention in Detroit this weekend.

Karamo sought immediate action from the appeals court to overturn the Kent County Circuit Court’s decision, which stripped her of the position of Chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. However, on Thursday, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals rejected her motion for a stay.

Karamo was removed from chair position properly.

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In his Tuesday ruling, Kent County Judge J. Joseph Rossi had asserted that Karamo had been properly ousted as Chairwoman during a disputed meeting of GOP state committee members on January 6th. Rossi not only removed Karamo from the party’s leadership but also barred her from asserting the position, conducting business in the party’s name, and accessing party bank accounts.

Karamo’s attorney, Donald Campbell, argued to the Court of Appeals that the previous ruling by Judge Rossi had introduced more disorder into the political landscape.

This new legal development is the latest consequence of an extended internal conflict that has engulfed the Michigan Republican Party. Before Rossi’s ruling on Tuesday, both Karamo and current Chairman Pete Hoekstra claimed leadership of the party which had led to competing GOP conventions scheduled for Saturday, March 2nd.

Grand Rapids convention backed by court and RNC.

Hoekstra’s event is set for Grand Rapids. Karamo had planned hers in Detroit. However, Rossi’s decision declared Karamo’s convention void, which prompted her to go to the Court of Appeals for a stay of lower-court proceedings until the appeal’s conclusion.

Trump is on his way to securing most of the state delegates.

The district caucuses at the convention on Saturday will determine how 39 of the party’s 55 delegates will be awarded at the Republican National Convention in July. Former President Donald Trump is expected to prevail as the candidate of choice at the caucuses at the Grand Rapids convention. Trump has already acquired 12 of Michigan’s 55 delegates after winning the Michigan primary on Tuesday.

Regardless of, and perhaps because of, decisions being made recently through the courts and the Republican National Committee (RNC) and not by the precinct delegates, there is dissension in the ranks with both sides of the issue still saying that the other side is illegitimate.

There are also some counties who are mad that they are being left out of the Grand Rapids GOP convention.

Isabella county sounds off on not being allowed to go to convention.

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On Friday, Isabella County GOP Dawn Betha posted on the social media platform X: “The official convention in Detroit at Huntington Place has been CANCELLED. There is an event that is being called a convention…I will not be attending that event because it was never legally called and therefore will have no standing. The entire District 1 which is Northern Michigan and the U.P. will be holding their own District Caucus at Houghton Lake.”

24 counties don’t have credentials to go to MIGOP convention.

The Houghton Lake caucus she is referring to is in response to Hoekstra’s MIGOP not recognizing delegates to the convention from 24 counties who did not get registered and credentialed in time for the Grand Rapids gathering.

In a scathing press release from District 1, they say, “The newly declared administration of MRP (Michigan Republican Party) appears to be inviting dissent and disregarding rules with the consent of their Republican National Committee allies…Denying the majority of the Delegates elected at County Conventions in the 1st Congressional District their right to be heard at the State District Convention is not acceptable.”

The press release goes on to say, “The rules for the conventions state that the county parties must submit their delegation credentials to MRP by February 21st, which was prior to the court order. Hoekstra denied any grace to the delegates who hadn’t submitted their names to him, as they were recognizing Karamo before the court order…”

Accused election equipment meddler speaks out about current MIGOP leadership.

Chairwoman of the 1st Congressional District Republican Committee and former State Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) said in the press release that what is happening to the counties is “the type of leadership that Karamo was falsely accused of. The grassroots are watching their party being stolen from them.”

Readers might recognize Rendon’s name as she, along with Michigan Republican Attorney General nominee, Matt DePerno, were arraigned in August of last year for the potential tampering of election equipment and she is facing two felony charges.

In addition to Isabella County having their own convention, there is also the 4th Congressional District, who the Detroit News reports is promoting a convention in Battle Creek.

Despite a faction of the party being at odds with the current leadership and conventions popping up all over the state, Jon Lauderbach, an attorney representing Hoekstra supporters in the legal battle, has reminded everyone that the RNC has recognized the legitimacy of the Grand Rapids convention and Hoekstra as the legitimate Chair.

Following this legal setback for Karamo, Lauderbach urges her to cease further actions and allow the party to concentrate on the upcoming November elections.

Hoekstra explains issue with delegates.

Hoekstra says that the party attempted to persuade the counties in question to submit their delegate and alternate lists but their efforts were unsuccessful even after calling and begging them to do so.

According to Hoekstra, the county chairs eventually realized that they were disenfranchising their delegates by not providing delegate lists for the Grand Rapids convention by the deadline. He emphasizes that he is simply adhering to the state committee bylaws even though some may attribute what is happening to his own actions.

For his part, Hoekstra posted on his social media account X on Friday afternoon, “We are continuing to investigate ways to allow delegates to participate on Saturday even though rules for credentialing were not followed. I want a strong and unified party moving forward. That’s my goal, hope others agree that’s what we need to win in November.”

Why was Karamo voted out?

Karamo had been elected as the party’s Chairwoman in February 2023 by the state’s Republican precinct delegates but faced many challenges during her leadership, including fundraising difficulties and internal divisions that triggered a petition for her removal.

Subsequently, besides the RNC recognizing Hoekstra as the official Chair of the party, former President Donald J. Trump has as well. The former president called Hoekstra on Tuesday, offering his congratulations saying, “This was a great day, and Pete, congratulations; you’ll be a great Chairman, one of the best ever.”

However, while Hoekstra concentrates on Michigan’s future and winning elections, it’s been reported that a new petition emerged on Wednesday, calling for a vote to remove both Hoekstra and Co- Chairwoman Malinda Pego. The petition would require half of the party’s state committee, comprising approximately 107 members, to sign in order to force a vote on Hoekstra’s removal.

The situation remains fluid, with the internal strife within the Michigan Republican Party showing no signs of a permanent resolution until sometime this summer with a trial date set for June 10th.

And even then, there’s no guarantee that the party will unite and put all of their time and energy into fighting the Democratic party instead of each other.