Trump is expected to speak at the event. Mike Lindell, head of the pillow company and an outspoken conspiracy theorist, is also expected to come and be photographed with major donors.


This is the latest in a series of election assistance from the former president and a test of whether Republican voters will reward candidates who attribute themselves to Trump’s grievances in the 2020 election.

Trump has already supported 16 candidates from Michigan in this cycle, but he paid special attention to DePern, whom he first supported in September. Most recently, Trump wrote about a letter to a precinct delegate from the Michigan Republican Party urging them to vote for Depernay at the state convention on April 23rd.

“Matt is a patriot who will restore the integrity of elections, end mandates, stop teaching critical race theory, and above all he will defend and support the Constitution,” Trump told delegates in a February 21 letter.

“You need to nominate ‘America First’ candidates, such as Matt, whom voters can cheer on and get excited about!”

DePerne faces stiff primary competition from former Michigan Speaker Tom Leonardo, who was the party’s candidate for attorney general in 2018 but barely lost to Democrat Dana Nessel by 2.7 percentage points in the general election.

Also involved is state representative Ryan Berman, R-Commerce Township.

Leonard is touting several of his own recommendations from prominent Michigan Republicans, such as former Attorney General Bill Shuet, and interest groups such as Michigan’s Right to Life. He largely focused his campaign on Nessel, not on his Republican counterparts.

“Unlike Matt Depern, I’ve stood at the forefront for years along with Republican delegates,” Leonard said in a statement to Bridge Michigan.

“They know who I am and they know the truth. That’s why we’re so far in the lead and DePerno is desperate. I’m focused on uniting this party, bringing Dana Nessel to justice for her record and winning in November.”

But DePerno seems to be gaining momentum. Two gubernatorial candidates, Perry Johnson and Ryan Kelly, recently backed Depernay and called on other Republicans to do so before it could become a controversial convention.

Trump chose Leonardo to serve as U.S. attorney in the Western District of Michigan in 2019, a nomination that was eventually blocked by Democrats from the State Senate. But in his recent letter to Republican delegates, Trump helped DePern, blaming Leonardo for what he said. The Detroit News in September, he “saw no evidence that would undo” the 2020 election, which was won by Democrat President Joe Biden.

Leonard is an “absolute embarrassment for the Republican Party”, not “viable” in the rematch against Nessel and the RINO establishment – a Republican by name only, Trump said in a letter.

“Republicans are listening to this,” DePerno CEO Tyson Shepard said in an email to Bridge Michigan. “We are very proud of President Trump’s full support before the April convention.”

Johnson, a wealthy Detroit metro entrepreneur who last month launched an expensive Super Cup ad promoting his own company, last week announced he would also be involved in DePerno’s fundraiser in Mar-A-Lago.

A donation of at least $ 2,500 is required to enter invitation obtained Bridge. A $ 10,000 contribution will give donors access to a “private briefing” and photos from DePern and Lindell. The $ 25,000 ticket has a photo of Trump.

These donations could help DePerno close the fundraising gap with Leonardo, who raised 681,933 by the end of 2021, compared to $ 191,731.41 for DePerno, according to state reports.

The former president also makes money from fundraising.

The company’s financial records show that DePern paid $ 17,213.63 for space for events and meals at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago club. Tudor Dixon, a candidate for governor of Michigan, last month paid $ 7,342.88 to rent space for her own fundraiser.

Trump’s endorsement is a “big plus for DePern” given the former president’s continued “holding” on the party, said Republican questionnaire Stephen Mitchell. But Leonard remains a “very reliable candidate with a proven track record” that has surpassed the top of the ticket. in 2018, he said.

A recent poll by Mitchell among Republican voters found that 80 percent were more likely to support a candidate who supports Trump. According to the poll, only 23 percent of voters who voted in the Republican Party said they were convinced that Biden “legally defeated” Michigan.

According to official results, Biden won in Michigan, gaining 154,188 votes. The Republican Senate group, which has been investigating the election for months, has found there is no evidence of widespread voter fraudincluding in Antrim County, where a human error by a Republican clerk led to an initially inflated vote count for Biden.

Instead, the GOP panel Nessel asked – Attorney General of the Democratic Party – to investigate “those who use misleading and false information about Antrim County to raise money or advertise for their own purposes.”

Nessel later described it as a reference to Depernay, who raised more than $ 384,000 last summer for the “election fraud protection fund.” Her office is investigating, but a Democrat in the first term said she was not involved in the investigation and would appoint an old special adviser prosecution in the event of charges.

In a debate last month, DePern said that if elected, he would immediately “arrest” Nessel, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for what he called “misconduct” related to COVID-19’s policies and elections. administration, a position criticized by his Republican opponents as premature without prior investigation.

Berman said he would like to investigate deaths in nursing homes from COVID-19 under the Whitmer administration, step Nessel refused to take. But Berman said it was “irresponsible” and “unethical to publicly state that you are going to investigate someone without knowing all the facts,” he said, reproaching Depern.

Leonard entered the 2022 race with a much higher identification of the name than DePern, who until 2020 was best known as the defender of former MP Todd Courser, who resigned in 2015 amid a cover-up of a sex scandal and later admitted there is no competition to charges of willful misconduct.

The Republican delegates who will vote in favor of the Attorney General’s candidates and secretaries of state at the April convention are “tough” activists who tend to be very conservative, a dynamic that could benefit Depernay, said Mitchell, a Republican questionnaire. party.

It remains to be seen whether there is enough trust in Tom Leonard for people not to notice the approval (of Trump) and say, “We believe that Tom Leonard is a stronger candidate.”

Democrats seem to be in favor of nominating DePern because they believe he would be an easier candidate to win the general election, given his long-running claims to the 2020 presidential election and other controversial positions, including “is no exception”Position on abortion.

“He has a hardcore (base) that won’t leave him, so you have to make him a favorite at the convention,” said Adrian Hammond, a Democratic strategist with Grassroots Midwest in Lansing.

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