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Judge issues preliminary injunction against Hillsdale GOP 'America First' faction

Hillsdale County Republican Party
Posted at 12:43 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 12:43:10-05

HILLSDALE, Mich. — A Lenawee County judge issued a preliminary injunction and ruled against the "America First" faction of the Hillsdale County Republican Party.

The ruling means the faction cannot assert authority, interfere or participate in operations of the Hillsdale County Republican Party until the court renders a final decision on the case.

The lawsuit stems from months long infighting within the Hillsdale County Republican Party ranks.

In late October, the executive committee filed a lawsuit against six members of the party who deemed themselves the America First faction. They accused the group of violating election law after trying to remove or “disavow” elected delegates from an August convention.

The goal of the lawsuit was to provide clarity over who is in charge of the party as the defendants remained officers, which effectively created two parties under one roof.

Chair Brent Leininger said they are pleased that the court upheld the rule of law.

“We have said all along that our position was consistent with Michigan’s election law and the bylaws of both the Michigan Republican State Committee and the Hillsdale County Republican Executive Committee,” he said. “We look forward to moving past the controversy of 2022 and working together to elect candidates who uphold the ideals of the Republican Party – free enterprise, limited government and individual liberty – but above all else the rule of law.”

Jon Smith, who was a named defendant in the case and was the secretary of the executive committee, said in a statement to FOX 47 News that their local government has not been involved and has done nothing for their party for decades and cited wins of four of their six endorsed seats including Sen. Jonathan Lindsey, Mayor Adam Stockford, Joshua Paladino for city council and Steve Lanius for county commissioner. They also moved ahead with a convention this past Thursday.

“The local government officials are attempting to use their political power to silence us, and it will not work,” he said in a statement. “Isn’t it odd that all of these elected government officials are suing their constituents? Has this ever happened before? How can they ever ethically serve us, the constituents again? After heavily growing these last couple of years, it appears that many awesome conservatives of Hillsdale County will continue the fight against Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham. We demand excellence, and you should as well. Where in the law does it say that we have to let Democrats into the party? What if a politician does not follow the platform? We have no remedy if we’re not allowed to run the party outside of government influence or control. Let us be clear; this injunction does not mean they are the party. State Central determines who and who is not the official and sanctioned party, period. We encourage all of the great conservative citizens of Hillsdale County to stand with us against tyrannical government. We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

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