Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, flanked by her children, speaks with members of the media outside Norton Shores Fire Station 3 after voting on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 in Grand Rapids, MI.
Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Tudor Dixon, a former conservative commentator and actor endorsed by former President Donald Trump, will win Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial primary, NBC News projects.
Dixon will face off in the at-large race against incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Meanwhile, in the tumultuous Republican primary for governor, Dixon emerged as the front-runner only after several top contenders excluded from the ballot and another was arrested on misdemeanor charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Dixon could face an uphill battle against Whitmer, whose bid for a second term is bolstered by a well-financed campaign and strong approval ratings. Despite President Joe Biden’s unpopularity in the state threatening to dampen Democratic enthusiasm across the board, recent polls have shown Whitmer above the water. They also showed research done before the primary Whitmer leads Dixon in a hypothetical match.
But Dixon is also backed by the powerful DeVos family, which is reportedly linked to a super PAC they own spent more than $2 million in support of her candidacy. Betsy DeVos was Trump’s former secretary of education, but resigned after January 6, 2021, later saying that Trump spent a “line in the sand.”
Dixon took a steady and growing lead in last month’s GOP primary, according to polls compiled by RealClearPolitics. Trump endorsed her less than a week before Election Day.
Before Trump announced his endorsement, DeVos wrote a handwritten note to the former president, urging him to endorse him Dixon, The New York Times mentionted.
Dixon, like other candidates in the Michigan Republican primary, has previously repeated Trump’s false claims that the 2020 primary election results were rigged through widespread fraud. The weekend before the primaries and after receiving Trump’s endorsement, Dixon offered more vague language, saying she had concerns about how the race was prosecuted in her state.