Two far-right candidates running for office in Michigan are taking pages out of Donald Trump’s playbook and crying fraud after losing their respective primaries Tuesday.
Their actions could be a sign of a new normal for Republicans: A flat-out refusal to admit defeat, even in races with other Republicans.
Ryan Kelly, a conservative Republican who is running for governor, wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday that it was “NO WAY” and called the election result a “foreigner.” He offered no evidence for that claim.
“NO ACCEPTANCE! Let’s see the GOP and the predetermined winner call for a publicly supervised recount to preserve election integrity,” he wrote.
As of Wednesday, Mr. Kelley was a distant fourth in the GOP primary. With more than 95 percent of the ballots cast, Tudor Dixon was declared the winner with just over 40 percent of the vote. Mr. Kelley was at 15.4%.
He wasn’t the only far-right Republican crying foul on Wednesday. State Senate candidate Mike Dettmer condemned the results of his election and others, including Mr. Kelley, and said he would not concede. It was unclear, as was the case with Mr. Kelley, whether he would actually take any meaningful action to challenge the results.
“When we have full, independent, unrestricted forensic audits in 2020 and 2022, I will review the results. You can’t tell me that Ryan D. Kelley, Garrett Soldano, Kevin Rinke and Ralph Rebandt came in a distant 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in a milquetoast DeVos patsey in the 22nd Senate District or all of Michigan. Well, I call bullshit! Beyond that, it appears that the crooked, bought and paid for SWAMP candidates won most of the elections last night with only a few exceptions,” Mr. Dettmer wrote.
“I just don’t buy it guys. And I don’t buy it because I can’t believe that the majority of people in Michigan who have complained about the state of things would be so stupid as to keep the culprits in office! Sorry… no sorry,” he posted as he trailed rival Lana Theis by 16%.
Michigan state officials warned before the primary that any efforts to block the certification of primary results would be opposed.
“Any efforts to block the certification of our election, regardless of the results, will be futile,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said. Detroit News on Sunday.
She added on Twitter that her office was “ready to thwart illegal attempts to interfere in our elections.”
Michigan has become a hotbed for conspiracies related to the 2020 election after they swung in favor of Joe Biden and helped defeat Donald Trump after he won the state in 2016. Wayne County, home to majority-black Detroit, was the center of these right-wing conspiracies.
Ms. Dixon, who won the GOP nomination for governor on Tuesday, is among those who have spread conspiracies about the 2020 election and in May said during a debate that she believed Donald Trump had legitimately won the state.