MichMash: Oakland County Chair Vance Patrick on why he supports Hoekstra over Karamo for Michigan GOP chair

Allies of Hoekstra, Trump’s chosen state chairman, are in Kent County court trying to force out Karamo, who was elected last year.

FILE - Michigan Republican Party chair Pete Hoekstra listens at a campaign rally in Waterford Township, Mich., Feb. 17, 2024.

FILE - Michigan Republican Party chair Pete Hoekstra listens at a campaign rally in Waterford Township, Mich., Feb. 17, 2024.

The drama in the Michigan GOP continues as the party plans two separate conventions for the Republican presidential nominee. MichMash host Cheyna Roth and Gongwer News Service’s Zach Gorchow sat down with Oakland County Republican Party Chair Vance Patrick to discuss the internal power struggle and why he supports Pete Hoekstra over Kristina Karamo as the Michigan GOP chair.

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In this episode:

  • Vance Patrick explains the reason the party is moving on from Kristina Karamo
  • The two conventions that are planned for the Republican national convention
  • The future leadership of the Michigan GOP and the “lose by less” mentality

The Republican National Committee officially recognized Hoekstra as the new Michigan GOP chair last week — less than two weeks before the state holds its presidential primary on Feb. 27. Hoekstra announced Tuesday that the state Republican Party will hold a presidential nominating convention on March 2 in Grand Rapids to allocate 39 of the state’s 55 presidential delegates. Karamo — who disputes the legitimacy of the vote to unseat her as GOP Chair — refuses to leave her position and plans to hold a convention with her supporters the same day in Detroit.

Now, Patrick says, “this is all playing out in the Kent County Circuit Court, where Hoekstra allies are asking for a judge to rule that Karamo was properly removed under state party bylaws.”

Karamo insists that the breakaway faction did not comply with party bylaws, though she suffered a setback early this week when her motion to dismiss the case was rejected by the court.

Patrick says one thing that will unite the entire Republican base in Michigan is support for former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential race.

“Whether it’s Kristina Karamo or Pete Hoekstra, everyone knows they need to work to get Donald Trump over the finish line,” Patrick said.

Still, Patrick says the infighting inside the Republican party in Michigan has been a distraction leading up to the primary, and the Michigan GOP needs to move on in order to accomplish their unified goal of getting Trump in power.  

In regards to the future of Republican leadership in the state, Patrick is pleased with how the party is losing by less in strong Democratic counties.  

“We’ve got some great candidates, they are doing a great job. Continuing to work for your constituents is how you are going to hold the seat that you have. I’ve been preaching, ‘lose by less.’ Republicans are not going to gain any seats in Ferndale or even Royal Oak, but if you can go into those communities and pick up a couple of votes then the red areas will be redder,” Patrick said.

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.