By Steven Kovac
WASHINGTON, Michigan—An overflow crowd turned out on April 2 to hear former president Donald Trump campaign for attorney general candidate Matt DePerno and secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo.
DePerno and Karamo are seeking the GOP nomination to run against incumbent Democrats, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in the November election.
Both DePerno and Karamo had been endorsed by Trump prior to the rally.
Trump’s visit to the rural Macomb County community comes just three weeks before delegates will gather in Grand Rapids for the state GOP’s April 23 Spring Endorsement Convention.
At that time the party will nominate its candidates for state attorney general, secretary of state, and state supreme court.
The Republican Party’s nominee for governor will be selected by popular vote in the statewide August 2 primary. A field of 13 GOP hopefuls will face off against each other for the right to run against Democrat Gov.Gretchen Whitmer in the November general election.
Trump has not yet formally endorsed any of them.
According to Real Clear Politics, a poll conducted during the last week of March by the Trafalgar Group showed former Detroit police chief James Craig leading the field with 34 percent, followed by businessman Perry Johnson with 16 percent, and chiropractor Garrett Soldano on 15 percent. None of the other contenders are in double digits.
Craig, who was at the rally, told The Epoch Times, “The last five polls have consistently shown us leading in the primary. In terms of the general election, we have polling that shows that we are ahead of Whitmer among independents.”
Tim Baggs, a truck driver from Wayne County said, “I’m backing Chief Craig. I’m tired of politicians who just talk and get nothing done. The low ranking of Michigan schools is an embarrassment. Tax dollars spent on education should follow the student. I’m also concerned about jobs and the safety of our communities.”
Ruby Styer, 96, of Deckerville, Michigan, braved a long wait in line in a bitter wind to attend the rally.
When asked what she thought was the worst thing wrong with America today, Styer said from her wheelchair, “Some people don’t want to work.”
She was part of three generations of women from her family that came out to see the former president.
“My grandma loves Donald Trump. She has read all his books. I joined the Republican Party because of him. We think he is the greatest thing since Ronald Reagan,” said Styer’s granddaughter Tracy Birgy of Marysville.
Lawrence Leach of Garden City also took in the rally from a wheelchair. The Air Force and National Guard veteran is suffering from the long-term effects of Agent Orange.
“I didn’t serve in Vietnam for nothing. I fought against socialism and now we’re trying to adopt it here,” said Leach.
He met his wife Diane while they were both serving in the Air Force. The couple raised four sons and a daughter.
Diane Leach told The Epoch Times, “We need to teach our young people today about the Constitution. That’s our greatest need right now.”
The couple’s son, James, said that the problem with America today is “Nobody wants to search out the truth instead of just buying what the corrupt news media tells us.”
Another dual service veteran, ex-Marine and Army National Guardsmen, Joe Mendez, of Ypsilanti, said, “Our country is suffering under bad leadership right now, but I say to our young people, ‘Have faith and get involved!’”
“If there’s a fair election this fall, I’m optimistic the Republicans are going to do quite well,” said Edward Penix of Saginaw.
“Michigan is rudderless today. People are worried about where we’re headed. DePerno and Karamo have a good chance. We’ll get back on track. You usually can’t get away with dicey stuff twice,” said a man named Kevin from Macomb.