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Announcement from Latest Fringe Candidate in Michigan Highlights RGA’s Major Recruitment Failure

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As the latest fringe Republican candidate is entering the race for governor in Michigan, it’s shining a light on the RGA’s major and ongoing failure to recruit anyone resembling a legitimate candidate.

The new fringe candidate, Garrett Soldano, is a far-right, anti-masker, who is best known for leading a failed petition effort – filled with forged signatures – to undermine Michigan’s response to stop the spread of COVID-19. He’s even been questioned by the FBI for extremism, while building a reputation as a snake oil salesman who tried to personally profit by pushing a fake cure for COVID-19. 

It’s not a surprise to see another no-name Republican run, given the Detroit Free Press recently reported that “The GOP has no top-tier candidate for governor and no assurances it will get one.” 

In fact, the RGA has already lost their “dream candidate” Candice Miller – who publicly announced she would not run for governor at the start of the year. And just last week, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel immediately ran away from the idea that she might run. Meanwhile, two-time failed politician John James started a federal PAC, a bizarre move if he’s considering a run for state office. 

Gongwer in Michigan noted that even Michigan Republicans understand they are in a dire recruitment situation, reporting: “One Republican, speaking on background, said if neither Mr. James nor Ms. McDaniel runs, there’s not a strong fallback option available.” 

Across the country, the RGA has been facing similar recruitment issues, especially as any GOP candidate for governor is set to face a brutal nomination process about undying loyalty to Trump and his toxic record. That includes decisions not to run from Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford in MarylandRep. Pete Stauber and former NFL player Matt Birk in Minnesota, Senator Pat Toomeyand Congressman Mike Kelly in Pennsylvania, and Mayor Erin Stewart in Connecticut, among others. 

“Every time another fringe GOP candidate steps up to the plate in Michigan, it just highlights how the RGA and Michigan Republicans keep striking out,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton. “This announcement today also further guarantees there will be a nasty Republican primary in Michigan about undying loyalty to Trump, along with his conspiracy theories and harmful agenda. No matter who makes it out of that divisive process, Michigan Republicans will be stuck with a toxic candidate – while Governor Whitmer continues to gain grassroots support for her unifying and decisive leadership.”