GOP Convention Begins With Fireworks, Ends With Lt. Gov Selection

The ballots are officially set. The state Republicans finalized their nominees at their convention in lansing.

Most of the event was supposed to just be a formality, as the party held an endorsement convention in the spring. That decided which candidates the party would focus on and just make official Saturday. Candidates for races like Attorney General, Secretary of State and justice positions.Gop Convention Vo 8 27 2200 00 53 15still001

Right from the beginning, it was clear the Republican state nominating convention wasn’t going to be smooth. Party chair Ron Weiser was met by a mix of cheers and boos when introduced.

The convention began in controversy surrounding how delegates were selected in Macomb and Hillsdale Counties. The former brought a whole new set of delegates and would not move forward without a vote to replace them.

Eventually they won out, replacing all delegates from the county.

“I think that delegates are very powerful force in the Republican party,” said Matthew DePerno, the party’s selection for Attorney General.

In an event that is meant to bring unity to the party and celebrate the ticket, it was contentious at best. The controversy pushed an event scheduled to be two and a half hours to nearly seven hours long.

“In some ways this is what we need to unite. The delegates had something to say, they wanted some changes made to some of the rules,” said DePerno, “They were brave enough to stand up and voice their opposition and it worked out for them.”

The divide in the party principles also showed in the one race that wasn’t decided, Lieutenant Governor.

The party’s gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon hand-picked former State Representative Shane Hernandez. The grassroots faction of the party was not impressed, opening up the chance for a challenge.

“We recruited a lot of delegates, I’d say 75% of these delegates WHO are here today are grassroots delegates that got recruited over the last year and a half,” said DePerno.

After more than an hour of secret paper ballot voting, the Dixon/Hernandez ticket stayed together.

The ballot is set and now the infighting can focus on the other party.

“I’m very proud of what they did today,” said DePerno.