LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — About 90 minutes after a contender announced plans to upend Tudor Dixon’s pick for lieutenant governor, former President Donald Trump weighed in, endorsing her choice of candidate.
At 5:40 p.m., Oakland County pastor Ralph Rebandt announced plans to try to oust former state Rep. Shane Hernandez from the #2 spot on the Republican ticket in November. The Michigan Republican party will select the nominee at its convention this weekend.
“After thoughtful consideration and prayer I accept the request and support from delegates, county chairs, and citizens to run for the nomination of Lieutenant Governor of Michigan at the August 27th Republican Convention,” Rebandt said in a press release.
Rebandt was defeated in the primary by Dixon for the GOP nomination for governor.
At 7:08 p.m., Trump issued his own release.
“I have talked to Tudor about the race and her choice of a running mate, Shane Hernandez. Since then, I have checked and found him to be an outstanding person. In fact, he was named Michigan’s most Conservative legislator, and is strongly committed to Election Integrity. The MAGA movement should support the ticket!” Trump said.
“This is who Tudor wants and therefore, Shane is who I want as your next Lieutenant Governor,” he added.
While party conventions typically ratify the pick of their nominee, the Republican party rules don’t require it.
Of course, experts say such a move would undercut the person at the top of the ticket.
“Trust me, it would be a huge political story, and that story would have a greater impact on her candidacy than the actual pick for (lieutenant governor) in the long run,” said Tim Skubick, the capitol correspondent for WLNS, WOOD TV8’s sister station in Lansing.
Garrett Soldano on Monday said he will not be vying for the lieutenant governor nomination, after a source close to him said he was considering it. Soldano also lost to Dixon during the primary.
— News 8’s Madalyn Buursma contributed to this report.