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RNC Recognizes New Michigan GOP Leader; Ousted Chair Remains Defiant

  The months-long chaos surrounding the  Michigan Republican Party  finally showed signs of abating as the Republican National Committee on ...

 The months-long chaos surrounding the Michigan Republican Party finally showed signs of abating as the Republican National Committee on Wednesday officially ruled that Kristina Karamo was properly removed from her position as chair and Pete Hoekstra is the rightful leader of the state party.

The fight within the Michigan GOP stems from criticism over Karamo’s fundraising strategy, failure to address the party’s debt, and surrounding herself with questionable advisers. Hoekstra, the former ambassador to the Netherlands under Donald Trump, released a statement on Wednesday acknowledging the RNC’s decision and asking Karamo to end her attempts to remain as chair of the party, The Detroit News reported.

“Both the RNC and our party’s presumptive nominee Donald Trump have now come forward and recognized me as the duly elected chair of the Michigan Republican Party,” Hoekstra said in a statement Wednesday. “It is time for the former chair who was properly removed in accordance with the MIGOP bylaws to end her misinformation campaign.”

For Karamo, however, the fight isn’t over. She said on Thursday that she remains the chair of the state party and called the RNC “completely corrupt.”

“I’m still legally the chair,” Karamo said. “The majority of the (Michigan Republican Party’s state) committee stands with me.”

The GOP civil war in Michigan could bleed into the party’s presidential caucuses, which are set to take place on March 2 after the Democratic National Committee agreed to move up Michigan’s primary date to February 27, conflicting with RNC rules. Delegates will now be awarded in both the Republican primary on February 27 and the caucuses on March 2.

On Thursday, county Republican parties held conventions to elect delegates who will caucus for the GOP’s presidential nomination. According to The Detroit News, many Michigan Republicans expect Karamo’s supporters to push for another vote on party chair at the March 2 caucuses in Detroit.

Last month, nearly 90% of the Michigan GOP committee members who gathered for a special meeting voted to remove Karamo as the party chair and elected Hoekstra to take her place. But Karamo, along with a band of loyal supporters, refused to step down and held that those who voted to remove her had no authority to do so.


Trump threw his support behind Hoekstra as Michigan GOP chair at the end of January, saying he is looking forward “to working with Ambassador Pete Hoekstra as Chairman of The Republican Party of Michigan.”

Karamo’s claim that she still holds a majority of the support within the Michigan GOP is the crux of her argument to remain as chair. While many of the 107 GOP committee members voted in favor of keeping Karamo during a gathering on January 13, those opposed to her leadership and the RNC hold that she was successfully removed from her position on January 6, making her special meeting a week later null and void.

One of the main criticisms of Karamo’s leadership was her handling of the party’s finances after former chair of the 9th district, Warren Carpenter, revealed shocking information about the Michigan GOP’s financial instability. Months before a vital 2024 election, the Michigan GOP went into debt and defaulted on a half-a-million-dollar loan. To make matters worse, one of the party’s main fundraising events didn’t raise any money for the Michigan GOP in 2023.

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