“When I met Tudor Dixon, she wasn’t that well-known, but I could tell she had something very special — it was a quality few others have,” Trump said in a statement late Friday, just days before the primary. the state on Tuesday. “She gave a powerful speech about how she would lead Michigan, fight for election integrity, transform the economy and protect Michigan’s future for every child.”
Other Michigan Republicans had tried to block the approval, which Trump had already telegraphed in April when he… praised Dixon by name at a meeting he held in the state without naming the other GOP candidates.
In a letter sent Thursday, nine GOP candidates who Trump backs in races for the Michigan Legislature and US Congress pleaded with the former president not to side with Michigan’s “establishment” and powerful DeVos family, which Dixon supports.
The winner of Tuesday’s primary will face Democratic administration Gretchen Whitmer in November. Trump, who has teased a presidential bid for 2024, has repeatedly criticized Whitmer’s handling of the pandemic on the main electoral battlefield.
“It’s time for a BIG change and a BIG comeback!” the former president said in Friday’s statement.
Dixon called Trump’s endorsement a “great honor” in a separate statement.
“Our vision for a family-friendly Michigan is clearly resonating with voters,” Dixon said. “It’s the reason our broad coalition is growing.”
A former anchor for Real America’s Voice, the far-right network that carries Steve Bannon’s conspiracy theory fueled programDixon has admitted to the former president’s false claims that a second term was stolen from him in 2020.
“Obviously things have been done in a way that was so sneaky with this money coming in, the absentee ballots,” Dixon told NBC News in an interview following a debate this month in Grand Rapids. “You’ve got Democratic boots on the ground to get the mood out — and how did they get out? We would have loved to look back on that.”
Before her gubernatorial bid, Dixon wasn’t much of a known figure in Michigan, but since then she’s benefited from a messy primary and orderly establishment support — including the family of Trump’s former education secretary, Betsy DeVos — surrounding her campaign. Family members helped fund a pro-Dixon super PAC with a combined $1 million contribution, according to campaign finance data.
DeVos resigned from Trump’s cabinet after the deadly Jan. 6 riot, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol. More recently, she said she was among those who spoke of invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office.
Dixon’s GOP rivals and other Republican opponents have tried to use her alliance with DeVos against her. Businessman Kevin Rinke recently sent a advertisement Accusing Dixon of being propped up by “Never Trumpers” – a likely, if misleading, reference to DeVos, whose image appears in the 30-second spot.
“It has come to our attention that Betsy DeVos is alleging that the DeVos family and their affiliates are not working against the Trump-approved candidates in Michigan. That is absolutely ridiculous and inaccurate,” the Trump-backed candidates wrote in Thursday’s letter obtained by NBC News and… first reported by The Detroit News.
Trump seemed stunned by the effort. He heavily hinted in a radio interview Friday and Friday on his Truth Social media platform that a Dixon endorsement could be coming soon.
Two early frontrunners in the GOP primary, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and businessman Perry Johnson, were: disqualified of the vote after submitting allegedly fraudulent signatures. Although Dixon already had the support of the DeVos family, her fortunes soared as the number of candidates dwindled and her allies began broadcasting ads.
Polls in recent weeks have shown Dixon leads the field of five candidates, with Rinke, chiropractor Garrett Soldano and real estate broker Ryan Kelley, who has pleaded not guilty to cost as a result of his actions outside the Capitol on January 6, chasing her. Also in the running is Ralph Rebandt, a preacher who has probed into the low single digits.