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Ryan Kelley

The five remaining Republican candidates for governor look more and more like tryouts for a new version of The Three Stooges. Originally believed to be an afterthought candidate, Ryan Kelley of Allendale was charged as being an insurrectionist for participating in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and has seen his popularity, well not exactly soar, but climb slightly higher than some of his fellow candidates. He has bragged that it shows “the devotion he had by being on the scene of what turned into a deadly riot aimed at keeping then-President Donald Trump in power.” But not everyone – nor all Republicans – are fans. One long-time Republican consultant said Kelley’s “a tool. Half the party wants to forget about 2020 and put it behind us.” He said Kelley’s choice for lieutenant governor, Jamie Swafford, is no better than he is. “She’s a huge Trumper, which narrows you to maybe 30 to 33 percent in Michigan that could wake up with a live girl or a dead guy, and they would still vote for Trump. Ryan Kelley is courting that.” Then there is a lawsuit filed in Oakland County Circuit Court by Progress Michigan and Lee Estes, seeking to throw Kelley off the primary ballot because the 14th Amendment of the Constitution prevents anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States or “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” from holding any office in the country. It’s not believe the suit will go far – but then, Kelley wasn’t projected to go far, either.

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