Ryan Kelley, arrested for his involvement on January 6, loses his nomination for governor of Michigan
There was a brief period in the GOP race for governor of Michigan when real estate broker Ryan Kelley seemed like the frontrunner.
It came, improbably, after Kelley was arrested and charged with crimes stemming from his participation in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, and after five candidates – including the two previous frontrunners – stood are denied a place on the ballot because they submitted false petition signatures.
Kelley’s push was short-lived and mostly a reflection of the chaotic reshuffling of the pitch after the signing snafu.
On Tuesday night, conservative commentator and business owner Tudor Dixon walked away with the GOP nod to take on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November. Donald Trump’s endorsement last week gave Dixon a boost over the finish line in a race where neither candidate had run away with the nomination.
Kelley was just one of the Republicans leading this cycle with ties to the Capitol Riot. He maintained that he did not enter the Capitol that day, but investigators placed him leading rioters in the building. Kelley admitted to attending the previous “Stop the Steal” rally and said his arrest helped boost his name’s prominence among GOP voters.
Another such Republican is Doug Mastriano of Pennsylvania. Unlike Kelley, the GOP candidate for governor in Keystone State has not been charged with breaking the law. But the state senator was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 select committee in March, and Mastriano’s attorney handed over documents about his efforts to organize a pro-Trump bus in DC.
Other candidates linked to January 6 are winning. In Ohio, JR Majewski, who participated in the pre-riot rally, secured the GOP nomination to face Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the House’s longest-serving woman, in a new swing neighborhood based in Toledo. Sandy Smith, a GOP candidate running in the general election for a House seat from Northeast North Carolina, tweeted about the march at the Capitol.
Michigan is one of the most competitive midterm battlegrounds this year, having chosen both Joe Biden and Trump in the last two presidential elections. The former president endorsed far into the poll in a bid to install allies at all levels of government should he decide to run for president again. After the 2020 election, Trump allies attempted to sit another slate of presidential voters in Michigan in an illegal effort to award the state’s electoral votes to Trump.
In the race for governor, Republicans want to eliminate Whitmer, who has built a national profile as a leader during the pandemic and more recently for blocking enforcement of the state’s blanket abortion ban in 1931 after the fall of Roe c. Wade.
The Huffington Gt