Big Lie Candidate Captures Nomination For Michigan Governor Following Wild Primary

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - AUGUST 02: Republican Michigan Gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, flanked by her children, speaks with members of the media outside the Norton Shores Fire Station 3 after voting on Tuesday, Aug. ... GRAND RAPIDS, MI - AUGUST 02: Republican Michigan Gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, flanked by her children, speaks with members of the media outside the Norton Shores Fire Station 3 after voting on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022 in Grand Rapids, MI. Dixon recently received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) MORE LESS

Pundit Tudor Dixon has won the Republican nomination to challenge Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) this fall, capping a chaotic Republican primary season in the state.

Dixon has said the 2020 election was “stolen,” and made headlines last month when she said a hypothetical 14-year-old girl who was raped by her uncle presented a “perfect example” of someone who should be barred from pursuing an abortion. 

Dixon had 41 percent of the vote when the Associated Press called the race, with an expected 20 percent of the vote counted.

A former host on the right-wing program America’s Voice Live, Dixon had the serious financial backing of Michigan’s top political bankrollers, the DeVos family, and endorsements began rolling in shortly after a signature fraud imbroglio swept much of the Republican field aside in May. Trump announced his endorsement of Dixon on Friday. 

She has also prioritized re-writing the Michigan constitution to allow parents to spend public funds to send their children to private schools.

The state’s Republican field was flipped on its head in May, when state election officials announced that five Republican gubernatorial campaigns — including the then-frontrunners, James Craig and Perry Johnson — had submitted thousands of fraudulent signatures as part of their petitions to appear on primary ballots. The candidates, as a result, did not have enough valid signatures to qualify for ballot placement. Some attempted to sue their way onto the ballot, unsuccessfully.

Excuses flowed like water: “We are as much victims as anyone else here,” an attorney for Craig told Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers, unsuccessfully arguing to be placed on the ballot despite the massive fraud scheme now plaguing the candidate. 

The candidates who managed to survive the decimating plague of signature fraud might otherwise have been considered longshots, and had their own problems: Ryan Kelley, a right-wing activist who protested the removal of a Confederate monument as well as COVID-19 health precautions, was arrested on misdemeanor charges related to Jan. 6, including engaging in an act of physical violence on restricted Capitol grounds. He pleaded not guilty. Kelley performed poorly on Tuesday, finishing in fourth.

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