Republican Tudor Dixon secured an easy victory Tuesday in Michigan’s GOP primary, setting up a competitive showdown with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for November.
Dixon had nearly twice as many votes as her nearest competitor, businessman Kevin Rinke, at the time of publication, according to Detroit Free Press Results. Analyst David Wasserman called the game around 8:30 p.m. eastern, just after most polls in the state closed.
Dixon, a conservative media personality, emerged as the clear front-runner in a messy five-way primary after former President Donald Trump endorsed her last week.
Trump said of Dixon in his endorsement announcement that when he “met Tudor Dixon, she wasn’t very well known” but that he could “tell she had something very special.”
“They’re pro-God, pro-gun, and pro-Liberty, and they won’t stop it!” Trump said. “She will stand up to the Radical Left as they try to indoctrinate our children and is ready to take on one of the worst Governors in the nation, Gretchen Whitmer, who is trying to destroy Michigan and our country.”
Dixon also ran in the primary with the support of Michigan’s wealthy DeVos family.
Dixon’s rise to the top of the primary field previously seemed unlikely. But in May, the State Board of Canvassers disqualified half of the municipal Republican gubernatorial field, including the front-runner, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, for filing invalid nomination papers.
The eliminations pushed the primary into a last-minute contest between the underdogs.
Whitmer, who ran unopposed in her primary, has benefited from the chaos as polls have since shown her with a substantial lead and election analyst Cook Political Report recently moved the race to the battlefield from a blast to “lean D”.
The Republican Governors Association (RGA) celebrated Dixon’s victory in a statement Tuesday night, saying the group couldn’t be “more excited” to “end Whitmer’s disastrous tenure.”
RGA co-chairs Governors. Doug Ducey and Pete Ricketts said, “Michigan voters sent a clear message tonight that they are fed up with Gretchen Whitmer’s rampant hypocrisy, complete disregard for transparency, and failed agenda that makes it harder for families to get by. We couldn’t be more excited to support Tudor Dixon this fall to end Whitmer’s disastrous tenure.”