A host of prominent state Republicans oppose any notion of shifting the manner by which the party selects its candidates.
Currently, the Republican Party conducts an August primary to determine party candidates for the November general election. A group led by Kristina Karamo, the recently jettisoned Chair of the state Republican Party, aims to change that method to a caucus system granting candidate selection authority to precinct delegates.
The idea is sparking loud pushback from many MIGOP members.
In a letter to the editor of the Morning Sun newspaper in Gratiot and Isabella counties, Republican Bree Moeggenberg, District 2 State Committeewoman, said Karamo “is leading a team of delegates that are attempting to revoke your August primaries. They are seeking a top-down approach that will create a centralization of power in a closed system while disenfranchising voters and candidates. Worse, this system steals your vote and can easily be taken over by one extreme radical faction or even Democrats.”
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Former Oakland County Republican Party Chairman Rocky Raczkowski, told The Detroit News he also opposes the caucus idea because it would disenfranchise voters and would increase the likelihood of the party nominating fringe candidates.
“Now, no one needs to prove to me that the current MIGOP leadership is nuts,” Raczkowski said. “They have provided prima facia evidence on their own with this plan.”
The Detroit News also noted more than 1 million voters participated in the 2022 Republican gubernatorial primary.
Other Republican voices also objected to what has been dubbed the “Better Political Representation Motion.” Some opponents allege any attempt to change the state’s primary system to the caucus method would violate Michigan election law.
For example, Republican political consultant Stu Sandler told The Midwesterner the BPRM would be illegal to implement. He said there’s clear statute and constitutional provisions that would prevent the BPRM from gaining any traction.
David Forsmark, owner and president of the political consulting firm Winning Strategies, told The Midwesterner the BPRM “is about as plausible as the idea that Kristina Karamo really won the last Secretary of State race.
He added: “It’s against Michigan election law. It would take a ballot in which 51% of the people in Michigan would give away their right to vote and hand their fate over to a bunch of cranks in a smoke-filled room.”
Former Michigan Republican Party General Counsel Eric Doster concurred that the caucus plan would disenfranchise state voters.
“I don’t think it is a good idea because I’d like to see more people get involved in the process,” Doster told The Midwesterner. “If you’re limiting [the candidate selection process] to 2000 people as far as delegates as opposed to 1 or 2 million Republican voters, I personally don’t think it’s a good idea,” he said. “I’d like to see more of an inclusive process.”