Former President Donald Trump endorsed two Republican congressional candidates in Ohio and congratulated two GOP state office candidates in Michigan for their state convention victories Saturday afternoon, just ahead of his scheduled Save America Ohio rally.
"Congratulations to Matt DePerno and Kristina Karamo on their incredible victory in Michigan," Trump said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
"They will go on to big victories for attorney general and secretary of state. I will back them strongly. Michigan is one of the worst on election fraud and corruption, and they will put an end to it. At the same time, they’ll get to the bottom of the 2020 election fraud!"
According to the Detroit Free Press, Karamo won the endorsement of the party at Saturday’s convention in Grand Rapids with 67% of the first ballot in her three-way GOP race.
The results for attorney general with Trump’s pick of Kalamazoo attorney DePerno was not resolved as of 4 p.m., as he remained in a tight race with former state House Speaker Tom Leonard, capturing 49% of the first ballot vote, just short of a majority, compared to 40% for Leonard.
As approximately 2,000 delegates attended the GOP convention to cast their votes to endorse candidates, the race for attorney general will require a second ballot without a candidate over 50% in the first round of voting.
That decision is seen as a test for the influence Trump has there and should give the victorious candidates a clear path to the party’s nomination during a second convention in August to go on to face Democratic incumbent Attorney General Dana Nessel, who won the office in 2018 and was sworn in Jan.1, 2019.
Trump also endorsed two GOP Congressional candidates in Ohio, Rep. Steve Chabot, and Rep. Troy Balderson, before his rally there in Delaware County later in the day.
"Congressman Steve Chabot is delivering results for the incredible people of southwest Ohio," Trump said in a statement. "Steve is fighting hard to support small business, grow our economy, lower your taxes, defend life, and protect our communities from criminals. Tough on China and strong on border security, Steve Chabot has my complete and total endorsement!"
In yet another statement, Trump gave Balderson a thumbs up in his reelection bid.
"Congressman Troy Balderson is a fantastic representative of Ohio’s 12th Congressional District," Trump said in a third statement Saturday. "Troy works hard to promote American agriculture, secure the border, defend the second amendment, support our military, vets, and law enforcement, and reclaim American energy independence. Troy Balderson is doing a great job in Congress and has my complete and total endorsement!"
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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