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RNC empanels special committee to resolve MI leadership dispute

Kristina Karamo speaks to delegates at the Michigan Republican Party convention Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, in Lansing, Mich., before she defeated nine other candidates to win the party chair position for the next two years. (AP Photo/Joey Cappelletti)
Michigan Public Radio Network
Kristina Karamo and Pete Hoekstra

The Republican National Committee has stepped in to resolve the dispute over who is leading the Michigan Republican Party.

A source in the room confirmed the creation of the committee at the RNC’s meeting this week in Las Vegas. It was first reported by MIRS News.

“They will move quickly to hear out both sides,” the source said, before making a recommendation on whether Kristina Karamo or former congressman Pete Hoekstra will be recognized as the chair. Both were at the meeting, but neither was seated.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Hoekstra last week, and it is expected that will carry a great deal of weight in the final decision.

Karamo was selected by delegates to a state Republican convention last year to lead the party. But her tenure has been turbulent. The party’s finances and fundraising have also suffered.

Last month, a faction of party leaders voted Karamo out as chair. And, in a separate vote, a group selected former Congressman Pete Hoekstra to lead the party.

Karamo continues to contest those votes, arguing they were not allowed under the Michigan party’s bylaws. There is also a court case pending.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network.