This far-right 'Stop the Steal' conspiracy theorist is hoping to run Michigan’s elections

This far-right 'Stop the Steal' conspiracy theorist is hoping to run Michigan’s elections

After now-President Joe Biden won Michigan in 2020’s presidential election, Christian nationalist and anti-vaxxer Kristina Karamo was among the far-right conspiracy theorists who falsely claimed that then-President Donald Trump was the real winner in that midwestern state. Now, Karamo is the Republican nominee for Michigan secretary of state, and she is hoping to unseat Jocelyn Benson — the Democrat who currently holds that position — in the 2022 midterms.

Trump and his MAGA allies were unsuccessful in their efforts to steal Michigan’s electoral votes from Biden in 2020, and Benson deserves some of the credit. As Michigan secretary of state, Benson forcefully pushed back against the Big Lie. But if Karamo defeats Benson, journalist Elaine Godfrey warns in an article published by The Atlantic on May 22, elections in Michigan will be run by a relentless Big Lie promoter.

“Barring any changes at an upcoming convention in August, and with Republicans poised to have a strong midterm election year, Karamo has a shot at victory in November,” Godfrey explains. “Michigan’s next election chief, in other words, might be one of its foremost election-conspiracy theorists. And what happens in this swing state in 2024 could tip the entire presidential outcome.”

Trump has endorsed the 36-year-old Karamo as well as Matt DePerno, the Republican nominee for Michigan attorney general — a position presently held by Democrat Dana Nessel, an ally of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (who is running for reelection).

“Despite never having held elected office, Karamo already has proved to be an enthusiastic brawler in the GOP’s culture war,” Godfrey observes. “On her theology-and-politics podcast, which she appears to have launched in 2020, Karamo has endorsed the conspiracy theory that left-wing anarchists were behind the January 6 attack on the Capitol. She has warned listeners about ‘conservative imposters’ within the Republican Party, declared herself an ‘anti-vaxxer,’ and called public schools ‘government indoctrination camps,” according to a CNN review. “More integral to Trump’s goals, though, is that Karamo has never backed down from her allegations of fraud, despite the State Senate investigation and multiple state-run election audits. She’s said that Trump, not Biden, is the real winner of Michigan — and the election.”

Jeff Timmer, former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party, is a conservative who is highly critical of the GOP’s Trumpified direction in his state — and he views Karamo as dangerous. Timmer has no doubt that Karamo, as Michigan secretary of state, would try to help Trump steal the 2024 election if he were the Republican nominee.

Timmer told The Atlantic, “Without question.… she’ll use her office,” Timmer said. “They want to throw a wrench in the process, create chaos, and muscle through the results they want.”

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