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Michigan Republicans prepare for Saturday’s nominating convention

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The Michigan Republican Party's nominating convention in Lansing Saturday will be an effort at building party unity against a backdrop of friction over who will be the party's lieutenant governor nominee.

They’ll also officially nominate candidates for attorney general and secretary of state.

Party spokesperson Gustavo Portela said Republicans are focusing on affordability and prosperity this year.

“It’s very clear that enthusiasm is on the Republican side. And none on the Democratic side, as evidenced in their last two conventions. Republicans, on the other hand, are excited, they’re ready for change, and they want to bring back opportunity into this state,” Portela said.

There will be at least one contested nomination Saturday.

Former gubernatorial candidate Ralph Rebandt is running for lieutenant governor against the preferred running mate of the GOP primary winner, Tudor Dixon.

Convention delegates will decide which one gets to the ballot.

Kalamazoo County Republican Party Chair Tony Lorentz said Dixon should be able to choose her own running mate.

“I fully support the running mate that she has picked. I’ve done my homework on him, I’ve talked to him, and I’m convinced that he’ll be good for the party,” Lorentz said Friday.

Rebandt has made the case he can bring on board grassroots Republicans who didn’t support Dixon in the primary.

The party itself is remaining neutral during this process. But Portela said the party’s so-called “establishment” and “grassroots” all want the same outcome.

“We want to elect a Republican governor; we want to elect Tudor Dixon to get our state back on track. And, at the end of the day, there isn’t much daylight between our party’s nominee and our party’s grassroots,” he said.

Party supporters will hear from Dixon herself after the convention at an event dubbed the “Red Wave Party.” That will also feature an appearance from Virginia's Governor, Republican Glenn Youngkin.

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