Trump-Backed Candidate Wins Michigan GOP Primary, Will Now Face Incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Tudor Dixon won Michigan's primary election for governor on Tuesday after receiving a late endorsement from former President Donald Trump

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - AUGUST 02: Republican Michigan Gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, flanked by her children, speaks with members of the media outside the Norton Shores Fire Station 3 after voting on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022 in Grand Rapids, MI. Dixon recently received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Photo: Kent Nishimura/instagram

Tudor Dixon's name will officially be on the ballot for Michigan governor after winning the primary race on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

Dixon will now go up against Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer, who's also considered a possible candidate for the 2024 presidential election.

The conservative media personality led the Republican gubernatorial primary election with the majority of the votes after facing off against four male candidates: Kevin Rinke, Garrett Soldano, Ryan Kelley, and Ralph Rebandt, per NPR.

In response to Dixon's victory, Nancy Wang, executive director of Voters Not Politicians – the preeminent voting rights and democracy organization in Michigan – said in a statement: "Tonight we are dismayed to see the GOP celebrate and validate the gubernatorial candidacy of a well-known election denier, who has repeatedly shown she is a danger to our democracy."

Dixon, a businesswoman who garnered an endorsement from former President Donald Trump on Friday, per NPR, was also a favorite with party members like the family of Betsy DeVos, the previous U.S. Secretary of Education.

Soldano, a chiropractor who was the first Republican to solicit signatures to get his name on the ballot, previously said his integrity was the reason he rose to the top of the race.

Candidate Rinke touted his campaign as one that was self-funded, and scoffed at Trump's endorsement for Dixon, stating shortly after, "The president has lost people across the country where he has endorsed. His candidates — he is batting 50%. It's not a for sure thing," according to Detroit News.

Retired pastor Rebandt ran his campaign on the idea of putting God at the head of the state's school systems. "The Bible should be the chief or primary textbook in the school system," he previously told Detroit Free Press.

Kelley recently faced his own issues. In June, his home was raided by the FBI as he was arrested for his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol.

PEOPLE confirmed at the time through online records that FBI agents arrested Kelley in Allendale, Mich., one day after a criminal complaint was filed against him in federal court.

According to the complaint, he was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; knowingly engaging in any act of physical violence against a person or property in any restricted building or grounds; and willfully injuring or committing any depredation against any property of the United States.

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Still, two weeks after his arrest he held the top spot in the GOP poll conducted by the Detroit Free Press and research firm EPIC-MRA between June 10 and 13. It showed that Kelley has earned the largest share of support in his race, with 17% of Republicans surveyed naming him their preferred candidate.

Soldano was the next highest candidate, with 13% of respondents' support, followed by businessman Rinke with 12%, Dixon with 5%, and Rebandt with 1%.

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The results also come after half of the Republicans running for the state's top position were barred from the election after officials said they submitted fraudulent signatures on their petition. After a deadlocked vote by the bipartisan Michigan Board of State Canvassers, the candidates were deemed ineligible for the ballot.

Among those disqualified were former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and businessman Perry Johnson, who had been considered among the top candidates for the Republican nomination.

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