Less than a year after she was elected, a group of Michigan Republicans plans to meet to discuss removing the embattled Michigan GOP Chairperson Kristina Karamo. The discussions follow months of infighting in the swing state’s GOP ahead of crucial Senate and presidential contests.
Drop in support
It’s unknown whether enough GOP members will attend for the gathering to be official, and Karamo has stated that she won’t recognize the vote either way. Calls for the meeting signal a drastic decline in support for the chairperson among grassroots supporters.
Karamo, a vocal supporter of Donald Trump and 2020 election conspiracist, unsuccessfully ran for secretary of state in 2022. She was later elected to lead the state GOP through the next presidential election.
The chairperson has been accused of failing to move the party forward during this critical time and has been unable to improve Michigan GOP’s reported $500,000 debt. Karamo has accused the meeting of violating party bylaws and indicated that she would not recognize the result of any vote.
Karamo’s co-chair, Malinda Pego, recently signed a petition seeking a removal vote. Party members began formal efforts to remove the chairperson in early December, obtaining the signatures required to call a special meeting.
At least 75 percent of the over 100 state committee members would need to back a motion to remove Chairperson Karamo, but this could be reduced to a two-thirds threshold if it was supported in a separate agenda.
Congressional chairs vying to oust Karamo
Eight of the state GOP’s 13 congressional chairs, including Malinda Pego, signed a letter urging her removal. “You were chosen as chairwoman because the majority of the Republican delegates strongly respected your commitment to a new era of transparency, honesty and meaningful involvement on the part of the State Committee,” the letter said.
“Regrettably, these policies no longer seem to be a priority in your administration and the Party’s financial stability is quickly deteriorating.”
Karamo pushing away voters
“We are currently in a position where we are pushing Republicans away from the party,” said Bree Moeggenberg, a state committee member who helped organize the meeting. “When the chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party tells those that don’t agree with her that they can go pound sand, the party’s losing voters.”
Karamo gives her take
In her reaction to the potential vote, Karamo told Newsweek, “I find it interesting that there are reports of a meeting to remove me, without individuals first verifying…the party is in fact an actual Michigan Republican Party State Committee meeting.”
Check the bylaws
“Our bylaws are very clear about the proper procedures to change party bylaws, call meetings, and remove committee members. These individuals have not followed the MIGOP bylaws to call a meeting, change bylaws, or remove any member, they have zero legal authority to conduct business regarding the Michigan Republican Party or its State Committee.”
Republicans performed poorly in the swing state’s legislature during the November 2022 midterms, with Democrats taking control of every level of Michigan’s government for the first time in nearly four decades.
Wrestling for control
With the Michigan House currently tied at 54-54, Republicans are hoping to win control over it following two seats being vacated by Democrats. The GOP is also vying to regain control of the House of Representatives and Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat to control the upper chamber.
Blue to red
The party also hopes to flip the swing state red in the 2024 presidential election, which Trump won in 2016 before President Joe Biden flipped Michigan in 2020.