Trump backed Kristina Karamo to be secretary of state for 2024

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Trump backed Kristina Karamo to be secretary of state for 2024

The Michigan Republicans endorsed Kristina Karamo, a candidate backed by former President Donald Trump, to be their party's secretary of state.

Karamo, who has cast doubt on the 2020 election results, is now all but certain to go up against the incumbent, Democrat Jocelyn Benson, in the closely watched swing state this fall.

In Michigan, the secretary of state is the top election official, and their office is responsible for administering and protecting elections, meaning that the endorsement could have an impact on how the 2024 presidential election will be run, as well as other races in the future.

If Karamo wins the general election against Benson, she would have the ability to tip the scale in a tight race, as Trump had asked Georgia's secretary of state to do in 2020.

Trump congratulated Karamo in a statement Saturday, saying Michigan is one of the worst on Election Fraud and corruption and she will put an end to it. Michigan Republicans held the endorsement convention Saturday in Grand Rapids in an effort to draw early support for their candidates. More than 2,000 party delegates voted to nominate candidates in all statewide races except the U.S. Senate during the event, and their selections will be formalized as nominees during the GOP's official nominating convention in August.

It was a major test of Trump's endorsement power, and Karamo's success indicates the former president's lingering grip on the state GOP.

Trump held a rally outside Detroit with Karamo, whom he endorsed in September, and has touted as a candidate who is strong on crime, including the massive crime of election fraud. During the rally, the former president said the secretary of state race is about making sure Michigan is not rigged and stolen again in 2024. The 36-year-old part-time community college educator has no prior experience in politics. She did, however, work as a Detroit poll challenger in 2020, and is best known for false claims about the last presidential election and the Capitol riot that followed months later — including that Trump won in Michigan and that leftist anarchists had planned the riot.

Most midterm candidates backed by Trump support restrictive voting laws and his baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

Secretary of State races have traditionally been sleepy affairs, with lesser-known candidates who depend on their party's nominees for governor or the Senate to carry them across the finish line.

Trump's involvement has increased attention and funding for races in the battleground states that are expected to be hotly contested in the year 2024, coupled with right-wing enthusiasm on questioning the 2020 election.

In order to elect Democratic secretaries of state in swing states, PACs Let America Vote and End Citizens United launched a $7 million campaign last year.

In 2020, President Joe Biden won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, and Trump tried to challenge the results in court with his baseless claims of fraud. More than 250 audits confirmed the accuracy and integrity of the 2020 presidential race, according to the Office of the Secretary of State.