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Republicans vote in chaotic Michigan presidential caucuses and also go to the polls in Iowa and Missouri

2024-03-02T16:34:00.858Z

Highlights: Republicans vote in chaotic Michigan presidential caucuses and also go to the polls in Iowa and Missouri. The former president won the Michigan primary on Tuesday, but most of the delegates will be awarded through caucuses of congressional districts at a state convention. Here's what you should know about this Saturday's contests. . By Henry J. Gómez - NBC News GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Chaos and confusion threaten to overshadow Michigan Republicans Saturday as they determine how to award delegates to former President Donald Trump and Nikki Haley.


The former president won the Michigan primary on Tuesday, but most of the delegates will be awarded through caucuses of congressional districts at a state convention. Here's what you should know about this Saturday's contests.


By Henry J. Gómez -

NBC News

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Chaos and confusion threaten to overshadow Michigan Republicans Saturday as they determine how to award delegates to former President Donald Trump and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

A leadership dispute is fueling the disorder.

Pete Hoekstra, who has the approval of the Republican National Committee to chair the Michigan Republican Party, will chair a convention that begins at 10:00 a.m. local time.

Kristina Karamo, the party's deposed and defiant former state chair, was scheduled to meet at the same time in Detroit.

Meanwhile, party groups representing two of Michigan's 13 congressional districts announced plans to hold their own conventions elsewhere this weekend.

Two pro-Karamo party members, Jim Copas and Ann Clark, told NBC News on Friday that they understood Karamo's convention had been canceled.

Karamo, in a post on X, encouraged his supporters to "continue fighting" and go "wherever his district president recommends."

And talk of rival mini-conventions spread through local Republican circles just hours before would-be delegates had to decide which convention they would attend Saturday morning.

[Biden wins the Democratic primary in Michigan but with a strong "uncommitted" vote for the war in Gaza]

"Delegates have been receiving conflicting and confusing emails for weeks promoting different agendas, different staff, different conventions," said Jason Cabel Roe, a veteran Republican strategist in Michigan.

"You have to pay close attention to who is sending what and what are the legitimate addresses and events."

Idaho and Missouri also hold

GOP presidential caucuses on Saturday.

The disarray in Michigan is not likely to affect the outcome of the state's complicated nomination process.

Trump and Haley are the only two active candidates on the Idaho ballot.

Whoever gets the most votes (expected to be the former president) will take the 32 delegates awarded by that state.

In Missouri, delegates will not be assigned immediately, even though they also hold caucuses on Saturday.

In reality, delegates will be assigned during the district conventions in April and the state convention in May.

But the party will conduct a presidential preference poll today among party activists that should demonstrate Trump's strength and prepare him to win delegates at future conventions.

Trump easily won the Michigan GOP primary on Tuesday and should receive a majority of the 16 delegates that will be awarded based on those results.

Another 39 delegates are up for grabs through Saturday's convention's congressional district caucuses.

Each of the 13 congressional districts will award three delegates proportionally, based on the votes of their assembly, and the candidate who obtains 50% of the votes will be entitled to all three.

Trump is also expected to dominate those votes, wherever they are held.

Hoekstra has said his convention is the one that will count, due to support from the Republican National Committee and a judge's order this week prohibiting Karamo from calling party meetings or performing party duties.

An appeals court on Thursday rejected Karamo's attempt to block the court order, raising the legal risk if she or her leadership team tries to organize a convention in Detroit.

[Trump wins the Republican primary in Michigan against Haley, bringing his proclamation as a presidential candidate closer]

But the court rulings came too late for some Republican groups waiting to decide which convention they would attend.

A statement issued Friday by Republicans in northern Michigan's First Congressional District said most of their delegates had been denied credentials for the Grand Rapids convention because the registration deadline passed while They waited for the courts to resolve the leadership dispute.

The group plans to hold its own convention in Houghton Lake.

The chairman of the Fourth Congressional District, citing similar credentials issues, told The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press that he would call a meeting Saturday in Battle Creek.

"The newly declared Administration... appears to be inviting dissent and flouting the rules with the consent of its Republican National Committee allies," said First District Chairwoman Daire Rendon.

"We are not going to play that game by falling for their mixed messages and backing down. Denying the majority of delegates elected to the County Conventions in the First Congressional District their right to be heard at the State District Convention is not acceptable."

A spokesperson for Hoekstra did not respond to requests for comment.

[Nikki Haley focuses on Michigan despite pressure to drop out of nomination race]

"We continue to investigate ways to allow delegates to participate on Saturday even though the rules for credentialing were not followed," Hoekstra wrote Friday afternoon in a post on X. "I want a strong and unified party moving forward."

Hoekstra, who was Trump's ambassador to the Netherlands, has endorsed the former president's 2024 campaign and refers to him as the "presumptive" nominee.

Haley remains in the GOP presidential race, but finished well behind Trump in Tuesday's primary.

Karamo, a prominent 2020 election denier in Michigan who lost a bid for secretary of state in 2022, was elected to lead the state party last year.

But activists quickly became frustrated with their financial decisions and fundraising practices.

A faction of party members voted to impeach her in January, a vote that the Republican National Committee and a Kent County circuit judge have said was correct.

On Friday, conservative radio host Justin Barclay of

West Michigan Live

asked him what his plans were for Saturday, to which Karamo responded, "I'm not staying home, that's for sure."

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2024-03-02

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