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Hoekstra Named New Chair of Anti-Karamo MIGOP

January 23, 2024

The faction of the Michigan Republican Party (MRP) State Committee that removed Kristina Karamo from the chairmanship on Jan. 6 voted Friday to elect former Congressman and U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra to lead the party.

Since Karamo’s removal vote, her Co-Chair Malinda Pego was acting as interim chair and scheduled Friday’s vote.

Karamo holds that her removal vote and any business not conducted by her since then has not been legitimate.

Hoekstra was elected in the second round of run-off voting, getting 50 votes to Lena Epstein’s 22.

Vance Patrick, the chair of the Oakland County Republican Party, didn’t make it to the second round of voting. He announced during the second round that he received a call from Mar-a-Lago endorsing Hoekstra.

During last year’s election in which Karamo took over as chair, Epstein had also run but later endorsed Karamo after the first round of voting.

The divergent faction, including Pego and Administrative Vice Chair Ali Hossein, Coalitions Vice Chair Hassan Nehme, Anne DeLisle, Jessica Barefield, Norm Shinkle and Oakland County businessman Warren Carpenter are named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Karamo to recognize their vote to remove her on Jan. 6 in Commerce Township.

That used proxies to establish a quorum, but only state committee members could vote on issues such as the bylaw amendment that lowered the required number of votes to remove an officer from 75% of the whole committee (regardless of attendance at that meeting) to 60% of those present.

Karamo’s administration also issued three cease and desist letters this week to various state committee and district committee members: DeLisle, Matt DePerno, JD Glaser, Dan Lawless, Bree Moeggenberg, Pego, Tim Ross and Andy Sebolt, though Sebolt’s name was spelled incorrectly.

Eighty-eight percent of the state committee members that were present voted to remove Karamo.

The following Saturday, Karamo put several issues up for a vote at her own meeting: her removal, which failed; Pego’s removal, which passed; and the removal of several state committee members, which passed.

On Thursday, Karamo’s faction said they were issuing cease and desist letters to the three candidates and members of the party that voted on Jan. 6 to remove her.

Moeggenberg, Second Congressional District state committee member, said she still has not received the letter, nor a formal notice that she had been removed from the state committee. She added that the vote to remove her on Jan. 13 didn’t follow bylaws.

The candidate forum did not conduct any official business of the MRP. State committee members were invited and a list of questions were given to candidates and they gave their answers under a time constraint of a few minutes each. The forum lasted just under an hour and a half, Moeggenberg said.

At a First Congressional District meeting Thursday night, Chair Sue Allor was removed, which would potentially impact the appointment of proxies for the first district since Article III, Section I of the party laws state that a member’s district chairman may select a registered voter from that district as a proxy in voting.

Moeggenberg said Allor’s removal will be disputed.

On Karamo’s Friday Lunch with Chair Karamo podcast, she questioned why (if the faction that allegedly removed her was so confident that they removed her) hadn’t legal paperwork to force her to hand the keys of the party over been filed? That lawsuit came later in the day.

It’s a reasonable assessment to say when one faction conducts business they say is in accordance with the bylaws, the other faction argues that it is illegitimate.


Article courtesy MIRS News for SBAM’s Lansing Watchdog newsletter

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