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Negative Attack Ads, Abysmal Fundraising, and Dangerous Extremism — Michigan GOP Primary Has Never Been More of a Disaster

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The Michigan GOP primary keeps getting more chaotic and shows no signs of slowing down.

This week, a super PAC backing Tudor Dixon launched an attack ad calling Kevin Rinke “simply unelectable,” and Rinke won’t be the only candidate trying to buy the election now that out-of-touch millionaire Perry Johnson is in. At the same time, James Craig’s fundraising has been dismal — even though he was handpicked by insiders — as he can’t even seem to name the state he’s running in.

Meanwhile, all of the candidates are pushing dangerous agendas that would hurt Michigan families. While Garrett Soldano recently made headlines for saying rape victims shouldn’t have abortions, the reality is the entire field of candidates supports dangerous abortion bans. And as the GOP candidates continue to push lies that undermine free and fair elections, insurrectionist Ryan Kelley was referred to the Attorney General for telling people to unplug voting machines.

Here’s what people are saying about the disastrous GOP primary:

  • Associated Press’s David Eggert: “A super PAC supporting Republican Tudor Dixon is going negative against ‘liberal’ Republican governor candidate Kevin Rinke in a new online ad.”
  • Detroit News’ Craig Mauger: “I believe this is the first attack ad of the 2022 GOP gubernatorial primary in Michigan. The Tudor Dixon-backing Michigan Strong is going after Kevin Rinke.”
  • Detroit Free Press: “Two millionaires have shaken up the Republican race for governor … The news last week that Johnson has also joined the race is expected to inject considerably more self-funding into the 13-candidate Republican race.”
  • Conservative Commentator Dennis Lennox: James Craig “continues to play cable TV pundit from his swivel chair instead of raising money and actually campaigning. He doesn’t even talk about his candidacy.”
  • Republican Pundit Bill Ballenger: James Craig “has not made himself available to answer questions on issues. He’s been a big disappointment to just about everybody who was supporting him. He’s floundering as far as I can see.”
  • M Live: “Soldano has repeatedly said women should carry their rapists’ baby and put the child up for adoption. Soldano also supports a controversial Texas law that bans nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and makes no exceptions for survivors of rape or incest, saying he would work to implement a similar law in Michigan…”
  • EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler: “Soldano’s defense of forcing rape survivors to carry their attacker’s child is a disgusting, dangerous attack on women’s control over our own bodies and our own lives.”
  • Washington Post: “Republican candidates for governor and the state Senate in Michigan are drawing scrutiny for suggesting that poll workers unplug voting machines if they suspect fraud…”
  • Fox 17: “Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley is heard telling prospective poll workers to unplug tabulation machines if they suspect fraud in the 2022 election.”
  • Fox 2: “A Michigan gubernatorial candidate and senate candidate are facing criticism for telling potential poll workers to unplug machines and urging them to show up armed.”

“Whether it’s negative TV ads, abysmal fundraising, extremist comments, or even more out-of-touch infighting, the Michigan GOP primary has never been more of a wide-open mess,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton.  “Meanwhile, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to deliver for Michigan families by fighting to cut the retirement tax and put more money in pockets, bringing 4,000 new jobs from GM to the state, and making historic investments in public education.”