Michigan Republicans have chosen Kristina Karamo, who has yet to concede last year’s secretary of state race, as their next chair, putting an election denier at the head of the party in a crucial battleground state.
Karamo tweeted Sunday that she was “honored to lead the Michigan Republican Party.”
On the heels of the GOP’s midterm losses in Michigan last year, the state party backed Karamo at its Saturday night convention over Matthew DePerno, who had former President Donald Trump’s backing in the race. DePerno ran unsuccessfully for attorney general last year.
Trump congratulated Karamo on Truth Social Sunday, calling her a “a powerful and fearless Election Denier, in winning the Chair of the GOP in Michigan.”
“If Republicans (and others!) would speak the truth about the Rigged Presidential Election of 2020, like FoxNews should, but doesn’t, they would be far better off,” he said.
Karamo, a former community college professor, rose to prominence in Michigan after the 2020 election when she alleged to have witnessed fraud as a poll challenger during the state’s count of absentee ballots. She has falsely claimed Trump was the true victor in Michigan in 2020 and has spread the conspiracy theory that left-wing anarchists were behind the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
Trump had backed Karamo in the 2022 secretary of state race, which she lost by 14 points to incumbent Democrat Jocelyn Benson.
A CNN review in November 2021 of Karamo’s podcast and writings on her now defunct personal website revealed her declaring herself an “anti-vaxxer” in 2020 even before the Covid-19 vaccine became a political flashpoint. She opposed teaching evolution and called public schools “government indoctrination camps.”
CNN’s KFile reported last year that Karamo called abortion “child sacrifice” and a “satanic practice.”
CNN’s Jeremy Herb, Sara Murray, Em Steck and Andrew Kaczynski contributed to this report.