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Michigan GOP could have quarrelsome nominating convention this weekend

Posted at 11:04 PM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 11:13:47-04

LANSING, Mich. — Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon will be running against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this fall, that’s set in stone, but what is still up in the air is who will be running alongside Dixon setting up a potentially quarrelsome Michigan Republican Party nominating convention this weekend.

“The reality is right now, the party is divided," said Ralph Rebandt, a former candidate for governor. "The reality is right now, Tudor only got 40 percent of the Republican vote. There were 60 percent of the Republicans, who voted in the primary, who didn't vote for her. And so I want to bring that 60 percent into the camp.”

On Saturday, members of the Michigan Republican Party will gather at the Lansing Center for their convention where they will officially select a running mate for Dixon. Rebandt announced earlier this week he plans to challenge Dixon’s pick– former two-term state Rep. Shane Hernandez.

"It is usually a rubber stamp, so it is usually the gubernatorial candidate makes a selection and the party goes along with it. But because there's always the threat that they might go with someone else, that means that the gubernatorial candidate has to take into consideration what the party is going to think of their selection," said Professor Matt Grossmann, the director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State.

He says more often than not, the picks are all worked out in advance.

“[But] this year there's going to be a little bit more drama, though probably not a lot," Grossmann said.

Already this week, there has been turmoil over who might challenge Hernandez. Garrett Soldano said he would, and then said he wouldn’t throw his hat in the ring, and Ralph Rebandt as of Tuesday is still planning on challenging Hernandez. Both Soldano and Rebandt ran against Dixon in the primary and came in third and last place respectively.

Gus Portela, a spokesman for the Michigan GOP, says despite the potential challenge the Republican Party is unified.

“Mr. Rebandt obviously has, you know, has the reserves the right to do whatever he wants. At the end of the day, our party is is united," he said. "We're united.”

We’ll see just how the convention shakes out this weekend. FOX 47 will be there bringing you the latest.

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