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The Michigan GOP Party held its convention the weekend of February 6, and by all counts, it was a doozy. Don’t think you want to invite outgoing party chair Laura Cox and newly-elected party chair Ron Weiser to the same soiree – to say there’s bad blood between the two may be an understatement. Weiser held the top post of state party leadership and fundraising twice before, in 2009-2011, and 2017-2019, and decided to run for the top spot once again, this time with co-chair Meshawn Maddock, leader of Woman for Trump and spouse of Michigan state Rep. Matt “Mad Dog” Maddock (R-Milford). Some say Weiser got involved because Cox didn’t deliver the state for the Republicans, and as one Republican leader said, “he needed something to divert his attention. He’s getting divorced and was battling cancer.” Cox initially was running, as well, but dropped out in early January – only to decide she was going to battle Weiser for the spot three days before the convention (with the intent to resign shortly after winning), alleging Weiser had paid off Shelby Township Clerk Stan Grot in 2018 (to the tune of $200,000) to drop out of the secretary of state race, when the party wanted a woman to run against Democrat Jocelyn Benson. Delegates weren’t buying it. One delegate to the virtual convention said it was obvious ahead of time that “nothing good could come of this,” and that Cox had not been an easy person to get along with during her tenure. The delegate noted Grot is a longtime “gadfly who endlessly works Macomb County for delegate votes.” Fluent in Polish, the delegate said Grot is known to show up at U.S. citizenship ceremonies with small American flags and sign people up as GOP delegates. Weiser, who received 66 percent of the delegates’ votes, had the backing of the old-time Republican power guard, and even former governor “Big John” Engler sent out emails in support of Weiser. While there was “an entire contingency” of organized opposition to Maddock, Weiser’s pressing the online flesh won the day. Word is Cox and her former attorney general husband were “pissed” at the outcome.


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