Ousted Michigan Republican Party chair loses key ruling at appeals court


DETROIT (AP) — The ousted former leader of the Michigan Republican Party lost a key court ruling Thursday in her effort to regain the top post.

The Michigan Court of Appeals said it won’t suspend a lower court’s order affirming Kristina Karamo’s removal by party members.

Karamo was hoping that a stay would clear the way for her to lead a meeting Saturday in Detroit to select presidential delegates for the party’s national convention.

Former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, with backing from the national party and former President Donald Trump, is recognized as the new chair of the state Republican Party. He is scheduled to lead a similar meeting across the state in Grand Rapids.

Karamo has refused to concede that party members properly voted her out of office. But a Kent County judge on Tuesday said the Jan. 6 vote was valid and any actions by her since that date were “void and have no effect.”

“The order has injected more chaos into the political process,” Karamo’s lawyers told the appeals court. “The order will require a complete change of party administration, as well as cancellation or attempted cancellations of leases, contracts and other legal obligations, leaving the (party) in further disarray.”

Hoekstra, however, said he is seen as the “duly elected chair of the Michigan party.”

“It’s time to put this behind us and move forward with the business of electing Republicans in November,” he said Thursday.

Trump easily won Michigan’s Republican primary this week over Nikki Haley.

Karamo was voted out of leadership after months of internal fighting over finances and strategy. She was a Trump supporter and unsuccessful Republican candidate for secretary of state when she won the top party post in 2023.

“This is an intraparty dispute that should be resolved through the political process — not court intervention,” Karamo’s lawyers said.

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