Advance Notice: Briefs

After failed gov. bid, Republican Perry Johnson launches presidential campaign with Super Bowl ad

By: - February 10, 2023 2:12 pm

Republican gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson holds a campaign kick-off event in Lansing on Feb. 23, 2022. (Andrew Roth | Michigan Advance)

Southeast Michigan businessman Perry Johnson announced Thursday that he filed paperwork to run for president in 2024.

Johnson will begin his efforts with a $192,000 Super Bowl advertising campaign in television markets throughout Iowa.

“The Democrats gave Iowa the middle finger, but we are going to give Iowa the respect and attention it deserves in its historic role as the leadoff state for our Republican Party,” Johnson said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week signed a bill to move Michigan’s presidential primary earlier in the nominating process. The Democratic National Committee reshuffled its calendar, taking power away from smaller and less diverse states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

The move could cost Michigan to lose a majority of its delegates at the Republican National Convention for violating their party rules, But the Michigan GOP could avoid that by holding its own caucus instead of participating in a statewide primary.

Johnson previously used a Super Bowl commercial in Michigan to launch his campaign for governor last year.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson attends a Republican gubernatorial in Howell on May 13, 2022. (Andrew Roth | Michigan Advance)

Johnson, a self-described quality guru, spent $7 million of his own money running for governor but failed to make the ballot after state officials determined he and four other Republican candidates had submitted thousands of fraudulent signatures on nominating petitions, many of which were forged by paid circulators.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed eventual nominee Tudor Dixon for governor after Johnson and others were disqualified from the ballot.

But Johnson tweeted a video of Trump praising him and other candidates during an event at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Johnson said he supported Trump in 2016 and 2020, “and could very easily support him in 2024.”

“If we’re being candid however, the politicians of both political parties have failed to provide adequate solutions” to issues like inflation, Johnson said.

Johnson said he plans to visit Iowa next week and is planning a bus tour and formal announcement for the months ahead.

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Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth is a former reporting intern with the Michigan Advance. He has been covering Michigan policy and politics for three years across a number of publications and studies journalism at Michigan State University.