Michigan's GOP was once a mainstream model -- a party of moderation headed by such governors as William Milliken and George Romney.
Things have changed, reports Thomas Beaumont And David Eggert of the Associated Press, who talk to Josh Venable, a Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos:
“This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George Romney,” Venable said, referring to the moderate former president and former governor.
Now, he said, it's defined by Mike Shirkey, the state Senate majority leader who was overheard calling the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot a “hoax"; Meshawn Maddock, the new co-chair of the state party who backed former President Donald Trump's false claims of voter fraud; and the Proud Boys.
While the state has swung back to Democrats since Trump's narrow 2016 win, choosing President Joe Biden by more than 150,000 votes, Michigan's Republican Party has taken a hard right turn.
Another sign of the big move to the right is that Trump backers have filed a petition with the state elections board to form a new Patriot Party.