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Michigan Republicans refuse to concede after brutal primary losses

Michigan Republicans refuse to concede after brutal primary losses
Far-right candidates cry fraud, echoing Trump playbook

Two far-right candidates running for office in Michigan are taking pages out of Donald Trump’s playbook and crying fraud after suffering defeats in their respective primary elections on Tuesday.

Their actions could be a sign of a new normal emerging for Républicains: The outright refusal to admit defeat, even in races against fellow Republicans.

Ryan Kelley, a conservative Republican running for governor, wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday that he was “NOT CONCEDING” and blasted the election outcome as “predetermined”. He didn’t offer any evidence for that assertion.

“NOT CONCEDING! Let’s see the GOP and the predetermined winner call for a publicly supervised hand recount to uphold election integrity," il a écrit.

Dès mercredi, Mr Kelley was in a distant fourth place in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Avec plus de 95 per cent of ballots in, Tudor Dixon was declared the winner with just over 40 pour cent des voix. Mr Kelley was at 15.4 pour cent.

He wasn’t the only far-right Republican crying foul on Wednesday. State senate contender Mike Detmer lambasted the results in his election as well as others, including Mr Kelley’s, and proclaimed that he would not concede. It wasn’t clear, as was the case with Mr Kelley, whether he would actually take any meaningful action to oppose the results.

“When we have full, indépendant, unfettered forensic audits of 2020 et 2022 I’ll consider the results. You cannot tell me that Ryan D. Kelley, Garrett Soldano, Kevin Rinke and Ralph Rebandt came in a DISTANT 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place to a milquetoast DeVos patsey in the 22nd Senate District or across Michigan for that matter. Donc, I’m calling bullshit!Au-delà de ça, it appears that the crooked, bought-and-paid-for SWAMP candidates won most of the elections last night with only a few exceptions,” wrote Mr Detmer.

“I’m just not buying it folks. And I’m not buying it because I cannot believe that the majority of the people in Michigan who have been complaining about the state of affairs would be that stupid to keep the culprits in power! Sorrynot sorry,” he posted as he trailed his rival Lana Theis by 16 pour cent.

Michigan state officials warned ahead of the primary that any attempts to block the certification of the primary results would be opposed.

“Any attempts to block the certification of our elections, regardless of the results, will be futile,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told the Nouvelles de Détroit le dimanche.

She added on Twitter that her office was “prepared to block illegal attempts to interfere with our elections”.

Michigan became a hotbed for conspiracies about the 2020 election after it swung in Joe Biden’s favour and helped deliver Donald Trump a defeat after he won the state in 2016. Wayne County, home to majority-Black Detroit, was the centre of those right-wing conspiracies.

Ms Dixon, who on Tuesday won the GOP nomination for governor, is among those who have spread conspiracies about the 2020 election and in May stated during a debate that she believed Donald Trump had legitimately won the state instead.