Advance Notice: Briefs

Despite last-minute firestorm, Weiser wins Michigan GOP chair 

By: - February 8, 2021 1:59 pm

Susan J. Demas graphic

After a long vote tallying process, the Michigan Republican Party elected Ron Weiser as the party chair Saturday evening at its online convention.

At the 11th hour before the election, controversial emails from Weiser, who is a University of Michigan regent, sent to other board members were obtained by the media, including the Michigan Advance. Weiser argued that criticism of him over his role in GOP politics was akin to the situation in 1930s Germany. Now-former Michigan GOP Chair Laura Cox announced that she was going to rejoin the race and would serve as a temporary placeholder. 

Cox alleged that in August 2018, Weiser — who was then party chair — paid Secretary of State candidate Stanley Grot of Shelby Township $200,000 from a Republican party account “so he would withdraw as a candidate for secretary of state.” 

Weiser has denied wrongdoing and the controversy didn’t hinder his bid in the end. This will be his third term as Michigan COP chair. 

Michigan GOP convention rocked by controversy, as Weiser compares criticism of him to 1930s Germany

Joining Weiser is Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, who held a leadership role with Women for Trump and organized buses to protest the Electoral College vote count in Congress on Jan. 6, which devolved into activists violently taking over the U.S. Capitol. She is married to state Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford).

The pair won 66% of the party’s vote, according to the Michigan GOP. 

“Meshawn and I are honored and excited to lead the party over the next two critical years. Our overwhelming victory today is just the beginning. The beginning of our road to victory in 2022. The beginning of a better, brighter future for our children, for our families. The beginning of unifying our party,” Weiser said in a statement. 

Cox conceded the race, saying it was “an honor” to lead the party since 2019.

Now Weiser says their focuses are rebuilding the Republican Party, defeating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other top Democrats in 2022, holding majorities in the Legislature and winning back the Supreme Court and Board of Education. 

“The time is now to focus on the great challenges before us. We are unified by a common goal, a vital aspiration to improve our lives, our state and our nation. To that end, Meshawn and I have assembled an extraordinary team. We have a tremendous plan. And we will win in 2022,” Weiser said. 

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.