Court rejects Kristina Karamo’s bid to run the Michigan GOP presidential caucuses


The emergency appeal came just two days before new chair Pete Hoekstra plans to host congressional district caucus meetings in Grand Rapids to award most of the state party’s presidential delegates to a national nominating convention.


Karamo had previously called a presidential caucus convention of her own for Detroit on Saturday. But Tuesday’s order from Kent County Judge J. Joseph Rossi “voided” her notice for that gathering, her attorneys acknowledged in a request for immediate consideration of her appeal.

“The order has injected more chaos into the political process” because Ottawa County only submitted delegate credentials to Karamo – not Hoekstra, so may not be able to participate in the Grand Rapids convention, Karamo’s attorneys, Donald Campbell and Kellie Howard, wrote in the appeal.

The order, which nullified any actions Karamo took since Jan. 6, “will require a complete change of party administration, as well as cancellation or attempted cancellations of leases, contracts, and other legal obligations, leaving the committee in further disarray,” they wrote in Thursday’s appeal.

The Michigan Court of Appeals did not appear swayed, however. Within an hour of Karamo’s filing, presiding Judge Brock Swartzle issued a brief order denying her request for a “stay” of the lower court ruling.

Attorney Jonathan Lauderbach, who represents plaintiffs in the underlying lawsuit, argued Karamo’s request would create more “confusion.”

“We would encourage her to do the right thing by listening to the will of the party and stopping any further charades so the Michigan Republican Party can focus its efforts on November,” Lauderbach said in an email, noting the national party has already recognized Hoekstra as the state GOP chair.

Hoekstra echoed those comments in a statement, noting that former President Donald Trump the Republican National Committee and now courts have “come to the unanimous conclusion that I am the duly elected Chair of the Michigan Party.”

Karamo has long argued the Jan. 6 meeting to remove her was illegitimate. She organized a separate meeting a week later where another faction of state committee members voted to keep her on as chair.

But Rossi, the Kent County judge, ruled Tuesday that Karamo was properly removed from her post. His order prohibited her from accessing party bank accounts, mailboxes and social media feeds, among other things.

Karamo called the order “absolutely ridiculous” but said Tuesday she would comply. “I’m not going to jail,” she said at the time.


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