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Appeals court denies stay to stop ouster of Michigan GOP chair

Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo speaks at the 2023 Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference.
Colin Jackson
Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo speaks at the 2023 Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference.

Former Michigan Republican Party chair Kristina Karamo has lost an important court decision in her effort to be reinstated as the GOP leader. The Michigan Court of Appeals refused Thursday to hear her case, effectively upholding a lower court’s ruling that she has lost the job.

The appeals court moved with unusual speed to refuse the appeal, which had some urgency as Republicans faced the prospect of dueling conventions this coming weekend in Detroit and Grand Rapids.

The court order was a victory for new Michigan Republican Party Chairman Pete Hoekstra -- formerly a U.S. congressman and the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands during Donald Trump’s presidency -- who has already been recognized by the Republican National Committee and endorsed by Trump.

Hoekstra said earlier this week that the Michigan GOP will not pay for holding the convention Karamo called to convene at Detroit’s Huntington Place.

Karamo’s attorneys argued in a brief filed with the appeals court that its intervention was necessary to prevent “more chaos” while the Hoekstra faction said that Karamo should not be rewarded for foot-dragging the case in the hope that bumping up against the convention date would work in her favor “so that she may continue to pretend to be the Chair after having been properly removed.”

Saturday’s caucuses will select 39 of Michigan’s 55 delegates to attend the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in July. Trump won last Tuesday’s primary that also selected the other 16 delegates.

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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