"We always had a plan: slow and steady wins the race," businesswoman and Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon told Newsmax on Thursday morning.
With an embarrassing ballot scandal that led to five candidates tossed off the August primary ballot for governor and the recent arrest of another candidate, Dixon's method seems to be working.
Two weeks ago, five candidates, including multimillionaire businessman Perry Johnson and former Detroit Police Chief James Craig — widely considered the two front-runners in the race — were barred from being on the Republican ballot in August for failing to garner enough valid signatures on nominating petitions.
Shaking things up even more, the FBI served search and arrest warrants on a candidate who did make the ballot — real estate agent Brian Kelley — for his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2001, incident at the U.S. Capitol.
Per state law, the ballot for the Aug. 2 primary was finalized on June 3. The consequences of the "June surprises" are unclear at this point. But, it seems as though the race may whittle down to four candidates.
Shortly before news broke of Kelley's arrest, Newsmax interviewed Dixon about the campaign, including the recent "signature scandal."
The mother of four daughters told Newsmax, "[the ballot scandal)] doesn't change what we are doing."
Deciding to run for governor after seeing what she calls the decline in education within the Wolverine State, Dixon said she believes that her message is what will propel her to victory.
Winning several key endorsements from the likes of political powerhouses such as the DeVos family (Dick DeVos a former Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate and wife Betsy DeVos, who served in the Trump administration as secretary of education and, before that, was Michigan Republican Party chair), the breast-cancer survivor still awaits the coveted endorsement from Donald Trump.
Asked about an endorsement from the former president, Dixon said he "wants to see a few things such as increased polling."
At the outset of the gubernatorial race, Tudor struggled to win support against powerhouses such as Chief Craig and businessman Johnson.
For Dixon, this meant waiting for her so-called "breakout moment."
Based on recent developments, her moment may be coming sooner rather than later.
Whoever wins this dramatic primary will go on to face Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Dixon thinks she has what it takes to oust the current governor.
"She [Whitmer] is in a tough position with the record that she has," said Dixon, "she doesn't deserve another four years."
Dixon was referring to the governor's much-criticized handling of nursing homes and education. The Department of Justice demanded answers from Whitmer on her handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, with thousands of deaths among the elderly across the state. When discussing education, the Republican hopeful specifically cited Whitmer's veto of reading scholarships aimed at assisting elementary school students.
At this point, it seems the roller-coaster Republican race will continue. At least one of the disqualified candidates indicated to Newsmax that he is unwilling to go down without a fight.
"Perry is still in federal court seeking ballot access," a strategist on the Johnson campaign told Newsmax. "If the court rules against him he would consider a write-in campaign."
This race could easily be likened to a reality television show. And few would disagree that this will be one for the history books.
(Micah Hart, a Newsmax intern, is studying politics and journalism at Hillsdale College in Michigan).
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