According to NBC News, Tudor Dixon will be elected governor of Michigan by the GOP.


BIG RAPIDS, According to NBC News, Mich. Tudor Dixon has secured the Republican nomination for governor of Michigan after one of the most contentious primaries of the year in a state where the general election would have a significant impact on the 2020 presidential election.

The former conservative television personality will take on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who was renominated without opposition on Tuesday, and who last week received former President Donald Trump’s backing.

Early results put Dixon ahead of four competitors, including chiropractor Garrett Soldano; Kevin Rinke, a former car dealer in the Detroit area who loaned his campaign $10 million; and Ryan Kelley, a real estate broker and right-wing activist who briefly held the lead before being arrested on misdemeanor charges of taking part in the uprising at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

At a gathering of supporters in the heart of Grand Rapids, Dixon pointed a harsh accusing finger at Whitmer. Throughout the early days of Covid, she frequently questioned the governor’s directives for lockdowns while promoting her own “family-friendly” agenda.

Dixon added, “Now we have the chance to really hold Gretchen Whitmer accountable for the suffering she’s caused each and every one of us over the last four years.

After the results were announced, Maeve Coyle, a spokeswoman for the Whitmer campaign, wrote in an email that Dixon “will take Michigan backwards.”

Gov. Whitmer has been working to win support from Michiganders by doing what she has always done: working with anyone to get things done, Coyle continued. “While Dixon has focused her campaign on attracting support from special interests and political insiders, Gov. Whitmer has been working to win support from Michiganders.”

The DeVos family, kingmakers in Michigan politics who backed Dixon and contributed to funding an affiliated super PAC, played a role in Dixon’s victory. Her victory also puts Trump one step closer to a governorship and provides him the power to certify election results.

Trump is threatening to run again in 2024 and keeps asserting erroneously that he was denied a second term in 2020. When asked if she thought Trump won Michigan, a state that barely lost to President Joe Biden, Dixon said affirmatively during the debates. Additionally, she has adopted the debunked notion that Biden won the election due to fraud and nefarious actions by Democratic officeholders.

However, Dixon’s speech has been less cogent and persuasive than assertions made by other Trump loyalists in Michigan and elsewhere in the nation. When asked if she thought the 2020 election was rigged, Dixon gave an “Fox News Sunday” interview, which her opponents used to cast doubt on her commitment to the former president.

Dixon similarly dodged a question from a reporter after casting her ballot early on Tuesday near her home in western Michigan.

What do you know? Since she was concentrating on her own race, Dixon added, “Today I think that’s not an appropriate question. “We’ve addressed that a number of times,”

Tuesday night, Dixon acknowledged everyone of her rivals by name.
I want to thank them for giving of themselves in this attempt to improve this state, she said.

For her campaign to topple Whitmer, Dixon can rely on widespread support. The Republican Governors Association, which this year has cautiously contacted other GOP contenders, thanked her right away.

The group’s co-chairs, Govs. Doug Ducey of Arizona and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, released a statement via email that read, “We couldn’t be more delighted to support Tudor Dixon this fall to end Whitmer’s terrible tenure.”

A crowded field of election-deniers, wealthy businesspeople spending lavishly, a scandal involving petition signatures, a candidate arrested on Jan. 6 charges (Kelley has pleaded not guilty), a seven-figure advertising effort by national Democrats to slow Dixon’s momentum, and a late Trump endorsement that splintered the party made Michigan’s GOP primary more chaotic than most.

From left, Michigan Republican candidates for governor Ryan Kelley, Garrett Soldano, Tudor Dixon and Kevin Rinke at a debate on July 6.

Even before Trump entered the picture, Dixon seemed to be close to securing the nomination. She took advantage of her rivals’ mistakes after entering the contest as an unknown political force with poor poll ratings and minimal funding.

The DeVos endorsement, according to her opponents, would make Dixon a puppet of the establishment and, in the case of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a Trump renegade who quit his Cabinet after holding him accountable for the deadly violence on January 6. This argument was made even before, but especially after, her evasive Fox News interview. According to the ad-tracking company AdImpact, the DeVos-funded super PAC offered Dixon cover by spending more than $2.5 million on advertisements. Dixon only spent $118,000 total.

advertising connected Dixon to DeVos and other GOP politicians who were labeled as RINOs, or Republicans in Name Only, thanks to more than $1 million invested by Rinke. At debates, Soldano frequently criticized Dixon’s elite supporters while criticizing Whitmer’s Covid policies, which helped him gain a strong grassroots following.

The bitterness and infighting within the GOP may continue into the fall. In an interview with NBC News on Sunday following a campaign stop in Warren, Soldano said he would back Dixon if she won the primary but would do little to mobilize his ardent fans for anyone else.

Soldano described the party as being “certainly fragmented at the moment.”

Dixon projects an hard-line stance against abortion, which Democrats have latched on to portray her as an extreme conservative in spite of attempts to portray her as an insufficiently conservative tool of the establishment. (Dixon only supports exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger.) She supports phasing out, the state’s personal income tax, and frequently discusses “parents’ rights”, a front in the cultural wars supported by Republican politicians across the country amid disputes over whether it is appropriate to teach pupils about racism and sexual orientation. Additionally, she has decried the “war on women” and criticized the usage of gender-neutral terminology.

In a brief phone “rally” he held for Dixon Monday night, Trump told the audience that Dixon had “been on the front lines of the war against left-wing indoctrination of our youth.”

The head of the Michigan Democratic Party, Lavora Barnes, vowed to “continue to hold Dixon accountable for her terrible ideas and false conspiracy theories” in a statement.

Few people would have foreseen Dixon’s ascent. She had worked as an actor on several low-budget movies and for her family’s steel industry before entering the conservative media.

Whitmer, a rising star in the country and a frequent target of Trump’s wrath, was expected to attract a star opponent. Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, and two-time Senate candidate John James were mentioned as potential candidates but decided not to run. The GOP establishment reacted enthusiastically when James Craig announced his intention to run for office last year because they didn’t perceive a standout among Dixon and the other declared contenders.

But Dixon had a couple advantages as well. She had established relationships with people in the former president’s inner circle while hosting shows on Real Americas Voice, the network that also airs former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s right-wing talk show. But it wasn’t until other efforts failed that things started to go her way. Craig and self-funding businessman Perry Johnson, another leading candidate, were disqualified for submitting purportedly fake petition signatures.

The DeVoses expressed their preference for Dixon at that point. Once the commercials from the super PAC they funded started to take hold, Dixon shot to the top of the polls.

Dixon concluded her victory speech Tuesday night by saying, “I am tough, my friends.” And I’m only getting started.