SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Tudor Dixon, a conservative media personality who is leading the polls in Michigan’s Republican race for governor, secured former President Donald Trump’s confirmation on Friday.
“When I met Tudor Dixon, she wasn’t well known, but I could tell she had something very special — it was a quality that few others have,” Trump said in a statement late Friday, just days before the state code on Tuesday. “She gave a powerful speech about how she would run Michigan, fight for election integrity, turn the economy around and protect Michigan’s future for every child.”
Other Michigan Republicans had tried to block the endorsement, which Trump had cabled back in April when he praised Dixon by name at a rally he was holding in state without mentioning the other GOP candidates.
In a letter sent Thursday, nine GOP candidates who support Trump in races for the Michigan legislature and the US Congress asked the former president not to side with the “establishment” and powerful DeVos family from Michigan, who supports Dixon.
The winner of Tuesday’s primary will face Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November. Trump, who has teased a 2024 presidential bid, has repeatedly criticized Whitmer’s handling of the pandemic on the key election 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 resonates with voters,” Dixon said. “That’s why our broad coalition is growing.”
As a former host of Real America’s Voice, the far-right network that disseminates Steve Bannon’s conspiracy theory-driven programming, Dixon has given in to the former president’s false claims that a second term was stolen from him in 2020.
“Obviously there was something that was done so sneakily when this money was coming in, voting by mail,” Dixon told NBC News in an interview after a debate this month in Grand Rapids. “They have Democratic boots on the ground to get the vote out — and how did they get the vote out? We would have liked to look back on that.”
Before her gubernatorial nomination, Dixon wasn’t a big name in Michigan, but has since capitalized on a chaotic elementary school and key establishment support — including the family of Trump’s former education secretary Betsy DeVos — for her campaign. Family members have helped fund a pro-Dixon Super PAC with donations totaling $1 million, according to campaign funding records.
DeVos resigned from Trump’s cabinet after the deadly Jan. 6 riots when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol. More recently she said She was among those debating invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
Dixon’s GOP rivals and other Republican critics have sought to use their alliance with DeVos against them. Businessman Kevin Rinke recently aired one advertisement Accusing Dixon of being endorsed by “Never Trumpers” — a likely, albeit misleading, reference to DeVos, whose image appears in the 30-second spot.
“We have heard that Betsy DeVos is claiming that the DeVos family and their affiliated organizations are not working against the Trump-backed candidates in Michigan. This is absolutely ridiculous and wrong,” the Trump-backed candidates wrote in Thursday’s letter, obtained by NBC News first reported by The Detroit News.
Trump seemed stunned by the effort. He strongly hinted in a radio interview and on his social media platform Truth on Friday that a Dixon confirmation could be coming soon.
Two early frontrunners in the GOP primary, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and businessman Perry Johnson, have been banned from voting after allegedly signing fraudulently. Although Dixon already had the support of the DeVos family, her fortunes increased as the field of candidates narrowed and her allies began airing ads.
Polls in recent weeks have shown Dixon leading the field of five candidates, followed by Rinke, chiropractor Garrett Soldano and real estate agent Ryan Kelley, who has pleaded not guilty to his actions outside the Capitol on Jan. 6. Also in the running is Ralph Rebandt, a pastor who polled in the low single digits.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2022-election/trump-endorses-tudor-dixon-michigan-governors-race-rcna39914 Trump endorses Tudor Dixon in Michigan governor race