Judge Rules Pete Hoekstra Officially Replaces Kristina Karamo as Michigan GOP Chair

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
February 28, 2024Politics
Judge Rules Pete Hoekstra Officially Replaces Kristina Karamo as Michigan GOP Chair
Kristina Karamo speaks to Michigan Republican Party delegates in Lansing, Mich., on Feb. 18, 2023. (Joey Cappelletti/AP Photo)

A Michigan judge issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday, finding that Kristina Karamo was properly ousted as chair of the state Republican Party following a dispute.

Ms. Karamo had refused to accept former ambassador and congressman Pete Hoekstra as her replacement.

However, Kent County 17th Circuit Court Judge J. Joseph Rossi found that Ms. Karamo was removed as chair on Jan. 6 and that Malinda Pego replaced her as acting chair.

“Any actions of Ms. Kamaro since January 6, 2024 purporting to be taken on behalf of the Michigan Republican State Committee are void and have no effect,” Judge Rossi wrote in his order.

Some members of the Michigan Republican State Committee voted on Jan. 6 to remove Ms. Karamo at a meeting. Investigative journalist Lara Loomer revealed the move, sharing a statement bearing the Michigan GOP letterhead announcing the outcome of the vote on X (formerly Twitter).

However, the Michigan GOP quickly denounced the move in a post on X as “patently false,” insisting that Ms. Karamo “easily defeated” challenger Matthew DePerno, the former state attorney general.

Ms. Karamo, who was present in the courtroom for the ruling, called it “egregious” but said she would comply with the decision, USA Today reported.

“I have to comply with the judge’s order. I’m not going to jail,” she said.

Prior to the ruling, Ms. Karamo took to her personal account on X, saying the case was “not complex” and that either she had been appropriately removed “or not.”

The Epoch Times contacted representatives for Ms. Karamo for further comment.

The court order explicitly prohibits Ms. Karamo or any representative acting on her behalf from engaging in various activities related to her former position. These restrictions include holding herself out as the chair of the Michigan Republican State Committee in person, to the media, or on social media platforms.

Additionally, Ms. Karamo is barred from calling any meetings or conducting any business in the name of the committee or the Michigan GOP. She is further barred from accessing postal boxes or bank accounts held in their name, filing required reports or documentation, and making any communications on behalf of the committee or the party.

Last month, the Republican National Committee declared their support for Mr. Hoekstra, acknowledging him as the rightful chair and affirming that Ms. Karamo’s removal was done appropriately.

President Donald Trump had also endorsed Mr. Hoekstra’s bid to take over as the state party chairman.

However, Ms. Karamo has refused to leave her post and has not relinquished control of the Michigan GOP’s bank, email, and social media accounts. This has impeded Mr. Hoskktra’s efforts to take full control of them since his election to the post.

It has also become pronounced in the wake of President Trump’s victory in the Michigan presidential primary, with the state GOP’s X account remaining silent about the breaking news.

Ms. Karamo’s personal X account still states that she is the chair of the Michigan GOP.

Judge Rossi made his order retroactive to Jan. 6, the date he determined Ms. Karamo was properly ousted as chair. However, the order notes that it is not the final order in the case. A trial for the case is scheduled for June 10.

Following Tuesday’s ruling, Mr. Hoekstra issued a statement.

“The MIGOP State Committee, the RNC, President Trump, and now a court of law have all reviewed the January 6th meeting, and there is unanimous agreement that the former Chair was properly removed, and I was elected as the new Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party,” Mr. Hoekstra said.

“It is time to unite and move forward with the business of delivering the state of Michigan for our Party’s presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump.”

NTD Photo
The then U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, attends the Memorial Day ceremony at the Margraten American Cemetery in Margraten, the Netherlands, on May 24, 2020. (Patrick Van Katwijk/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Disquiet over poor finances brewed within the state party ranks after Ms. Karamo became chair, with many citing a focus on grassroots fundraising over seeking larger donations for the situation.

Further complicating the matter, Ms. Karamo and Mr. Hoekstra had declared dueling Republican conventions for March 2, where the allocation of 39 of the state’s 55 presidential delegates will take place. The judge’s order is expected to bring clarity to the matter.

The judge’s order comes as Michiganders vote in the state’s presidential primary. Michigan will be a key swing state in potentially determining the results of the race.

The Michigan Supreme Court thwarted activists’ attempts to remove President Trump from the ballot, clearing the way for him to grab a solid victory on Tuesday.

The Associated Press called the race for President Trump shortly after the polls closed at 9 p.m. ET.

He handily beat GOP contender Nikki Haley, notching his sixth straight primary victory.

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.