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Judge slaps down rogue Michigan Republican chairwoman who refused to leave post

The ruling could finally put an end to the bizarre chaos that has engulfed Michigan’s GOP since the election of Kristina Karamo in February 2023

Io Dodds
Wednesday 28 February 2024 03:33 GMT
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Biden and Trump win Michigan primaries

A Michigan court has ruled in favour of one of the two duelling claimants to the leadership of the Michigan Republican Party.

Since 6 January this year, Kristina Karamo has insisted that she is the rightful chairwoman of the state party despite a group of her colleagues voting to remove her.

Now Michigan state judge J Joseph Rossi has upheld that vote, ordering Ms Karamo to immediately relinquish control of the party's bank accounts, website, and social media accounts.

"This court finds, that as of 6 January 2024, Ms Karamo was removed as chair of the Michigan Republican State Committee ... and that any actions of Ms Kamaro since [then] purporting to be taken on behalf of the Michigan Republican State Committee are void and have no effect," Mr Rossi wrote on Tuesday.

He ordered Ms Karamo to stop representing herself as the party's leader and conduct no more business on behalf of the party.

The ruling could finally put an end to the bizarre chaos that has engulfed the Michigan GOP since Ms Karamo’s election last February, which members feared could cost them the state in 2024.

Kristina Karamo (AP)

After variously branding Ms Karamo a "disaster", an "epic failure", and "a tyrannical, incompetent dumpster fire", her opponents within the party finally convened a vote to remove her.

Ms Karamo insisted that the vote was illegitimate, leading to a legal battle which she denounced as part of a "fraudulent" effort to "destroy" her.

“There is unanimous agreement that the former chair was properly removed, and that I was elected as the new chairman of the Michigan Republican Party,” said Pete Hoekstra, Ms Karamo's replacement, after the ruling on Tuesday.

Pete Hoekstra (AP)

"It is time to unite and move forward with the business delivering the state of Michigan for our Party’s presumptive nominee, Donald J Trump."

Indeed, Mr Trump – who appointed Mr Hoekstra as his ambassador to the Netherlands between 2018 and 2021 – made a point of lauding Mr Hoekstra by name after his victory in the public portion of the Michigan Republican primary on Tuesday night.

“Pete, congratulations. You'll be a fantastic chairman, one of the best ever. I don't know if you know, he was a fantastic— just couldn't be better as an ambassador— but before that he was a really successful and respected, highly respected congressman,” Mr Trump said.

The Independent has asked both Ms Karamo and the Michigan Republican Party for comment. As of Tuesday evening, Ms Karamo's social media profiles still described her as the chairwoman.

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