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Despite RNC endorsement, court case lingers on who leads Michigan GOP

Kristina Karamo claims she was improperly removed as state republican party chair. Pete Hoekstra, a former congressman and ambassador, was selected to replace her by Republican State Central Committee
AP / US Dept. of State
Kristina Karamo claims she was improperly removed as state republican party chair. Pete Hoekstra, a former congressman and ambassador, was selected to replace her by Republican State Central Committee

Although the Republican National Committee has recognized former Congressman Pete Hoekstra as the Michigan GOP chair, that may not be the final word in the messy leadership battle over control of the state Republican Party.

The plaintiffs in the Kent County Circuit Court case are Michigan Republican State Central Committee members who want to force out Kristina Karamo and gain control of party bank accounts and other assets.

Karamo has filed a motion to have the case dismissed. She says she can only be removed by Republican delegates who elected her last year to lead the state party, and the group trying to eject her violated party by-laws. She is also expected to argue a court does not have jurisdiction over an internal political party dispute.

Former President Donald Trump has thrown his support behind Hoekstra, who said he’s already gone to work repairing relationships and fixing the state party’s collapsed finances.

The leadership fight continues as the Michigan Republicans’ presidential primary and caucuses are coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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