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If you’re confused about who is running the Michigan Republican Party, you’re not alone. On one side, there is renown party chairwoman Kristina Karamo, and on the other is her former co-chair Malinda Pego. On recent successive Saturdays, first Pego’s faction held an event to oust Karamo (on January 6 – a coincidence?), by a vote of 40-5. “The witch is dead! The Republican National Committee (RNC) will take over. They did everything by the book,” said a former state co-chair. Not so fast. Karamo and her acolytes claimed it was an improper meeting, and on January 13 she held a meeting, where 60 committee members attended, and all but one voted for Karamo to remain as state party chair. “Based on the numbers I’ve seen, it appears she has the numbers and the quorum to remain as chair,” said one former party committee member. “There are only about 105 total committee members. I would assume the RNC will recognize her (as chair).” The same local Republican noted, “Everybody on the sidelines is saying this is a dumpster fire and they’re going to go raise money on their own for the races and their candidates while the two factions are fighting each other and having litmus tests and claiming ‘people are diabolical.’ It’s full on ‘Mean Girls.’ It’s high school. And it’s terrible for the Republican brand. Now we’re associated with congenital liars and conspiracy thinkers.” Oakland University political science professor David Dulio said efforts to out Karamo came from the establishment wing of the party, which he believes more and more are coming around to. “Everything comes down to the effectiveness of electing Republicans, and a lot of it comes to money. Money is their seat at the table. They need money for general elections to throw behind their candidates. Money can buy not only TV airtime but also staff. A question that hasn’t been asked is how is their volunteer database compared to other years, to get boots for get out the vote efforts.” Dulio said 2024 isn’t lost “because people aren’t going to make a decision on a congressional, Senate, state House race based on the state of the Michigan Republican Party, but on the quality of candidate characteristics.” “The donor class will come back for the right person – but who will write a check for debt? I will write a check for a candidate, but not to help the party get out of debt,” said a past Republican donor class member, as donations shift away from the party and to candidates and super PACs.

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