Former President Donald Trump said in a statement Monday that Michigan Republican gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon ''must defeat'' Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the November general election.
''Tudor Dixon must defeat Gretchen Whitmer in November,'' Trump said in his statement. ''The radical left Democrats and fake news media demand that Republicans be divided. We must work together to defeat them, and, in particular, Gretchen Whitmer.''
Dixon, a former news anchor at America Voice News who has been endorsed by Trump, won the nomination Aug. 2, defeating a field of seven other GOP candidates to take on the incumbent Whitmer, a sharp critic of Trump, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Ballotpedia.
In the statement, Trump also backed Dixon's running mate for lieutenant governor, former GOP state House Rep. Shane Hernandez, once labeled the ''most conservative'' member of the state Legislature.
''I have checked and found him to be an outstanding person. In fact, he was named Michigan's most Conservative legislator, and is strongly committed to election integrity,'' Trump said. ''The MAGA movement should support the ticket.''
In October 2020, Whitmer accused Trump of ''rallying'' far-right extremist groups.
''Hate groups heard the president's words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry,'' The Associated Press reported Whitmer saying at the time. ''When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet, encourage, or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions, and they are complicit. When they stoke and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit.''
Trump said then that she was doing ''a terrible job'' as governor, keeping her state closed during the pandemic, and reminded her that his Department of Justice was responsible for thwarting a plot to kidnap her.
''Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist,'' Trump tweeted at the time. ''I do not tolerate any extreme violence. Defending all Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your president.''
Trump said Monday that he fully supports Dixon and Hernandez.
''Tudor and Shane are committed to securing Michigan's elections, fighting against the radical indoctrination of our children, saving the Second Amendment, being tough on crime and working to bring jobs back to Michigan (that are badly needed after the horrible term of the current liberal Democrat governor!),'' he said in the statement.
''All Republicans must unite and work hard for Tudor and Shane. Also, never forget about our great Attorney General candidate, Matt DePerno, and wonderful Kristina Karamo, for Secretary of State. The MAGA movement in Michigan is stronger than ever, and we must make Michigan Trump red in November. always remember, 'America First.'''
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