Viral and 'SNL' -Parodied Trump Election Witness Disqualified from Michigan GOP Primary

Melissa Carone's candidacy was rejected by election officials who allege she made false statements on an affidavit that indicated that she didn't have unpaid fines

Melissa Carone
Mellissa Carone speaks in front of the Michigan House Oversight Committee in Lansing on Dec. 2. Photo: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty

Melissa Carone, who went viral for her supporting role in Donald Trump's attempts to have votes overturned in the 2020 presidential election, has been disqualified from running in a Republican primary for Michigan's State Senate.

A self-described whistleblower, Carone's allegations of election wrongdoing in 2020 were described as "not credible" by a judge after the Trump campaign touted her as a key witness and she made a somewhat combative appearance in front of Michigan lawmakers after the election that the former president falsely claimed was fraudulent.

In February, Carone, 35, announced a bid for public office in Michigan, telling Politico earlier this year that the 2020 presidential election "pushed me into politics, for sure."

But Carone's name won't be on the ballot in the Republican primary set for August.

"Eleven candidates have been disqualified because of false statements regarding the candidate's compliance with the Michigan Campaign Finance Act," the Michigan Department of State said in a news release Tuesday, before listing Carone among those deemed ineligible.

Carone allegedly had made false statements on a required affidavit submitted to election officials. On one of the forms Carone signed, she indicated that she didn't have any unpaid fines and that her campaign filings were all current, The New York Times reports.

According to the county clerk in the district outside Detroit where Carone hoped to run, that was not the case. Carone owed at least $125 in late fees for not missing campaign filing deadlines, the Times reports.

After her viral appearance in 2020 televised hearings, Carone was parodied by Saturday Night Live in a sketch featuring Cecily Strong as Carone and Kate McKinnon as Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

This was the second disqualification for Carone, who was also not permitted to be on the ballot for state representative by the Macomb County Clerk & Register of Deeds.

"From our standpoint, she was kicked off the ballot because she basically perjured herself," Macomb County Clerk Anthony Forlini told the Times of Carone's previous violation, adding that making false statements on an affidavit like those candidates are required to sign and submit is a felony in Michigan.

"We're just sticking to the letter of the law," Forlini said. He added that Carone "likes the drama, and she's been feeding on it."

A spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of State declined to speak about Carone's most recent disqualification for state senate, the Times said.

Carone blamed a former campaign manager for failing to submit the paperwork and accused Republican election officials and party leaders of preventing her from running for office.

"This is how our elected officials keep good candidates from getting elected," Carone told the Times in an interview on Wednesday. "I'm going to fight it. Even if I don't end up on the ballot, my voice will be heard. I'm not going anywhere."

A Michigan Republican Party spokesman told the Times there was no conspiracy to keep Carone off the ballot for the August primary.

"Terrible candidates seem to find it hard to take accountability for themselves so they pass the blame to others," Gustavo Portela said in an email to the Times on Wednesday.

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