GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Tudor Dixon for governor of Michigan.
In a statement released Friday evening, Trump wrote that Dixon “will make a great Governor and has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”
He said that when he met Dixon, she was not well known but he could tell she “had something very special.” He called her a “Conservative Warrior” who is ready to save Michigan.
Dixon responded in a tweet.
“I am honored to have President Trump’s endorsement. We will unite Michigan and defeat Gretchen Whitmer,” she wrote.
The former president’s endorsement comes after multiple candidates urged him not to weigh in on the race.
After a recent debate in Rochester, Ryan Kelley told News 8, “let’s let the voters decide who is the most America First.”
“It’s so far into the race,” Kelley said. “People are already casting their votes.”
Soldano also told News 8 that the former president should avoid the race.
“I really feel the people just need to choose,” Soldano said. “We don’t need outside influence.”
Earlier Friday, Trump had hinted he may endorse Dixon, posting on Truth Social that he’s giving “Tudor Dixon a good, hard look.”
Soldano responded to that post on Twitter Friday, urging Trump to change his mind.
“Let us fight this battle,” Soldano tweeted. “We’re gonna be behind the nominee, but don’t side with the DeVos family.”
Soldano later posted on Facebook, asking his supporters to respond to Trump’s post on Truth Social with their thoughts on a Dixon endorsement.
“We need to let the president know that WE THE PEOPLE are not happy,” Soldano wrote.
After Trump’s announcement Friday, Soldano tweeted, “This is the only endorsement I need,” featuring a photo of a crowd of supporters. “I believe that we will win,” he added.
Trump’s endorsement is the latest win for Dixon in a recent stretch of momentum, in which she’s led recent polls. A Mitchell/MIRS poll conducted days ago had Dixon with a 6% lead, which was outside the poll’s margin of error (5%).
The poll also found that 25% of voters were undecided.
John Clark, the political science chair at Western Michigan University, told News 8 earlier this month that a Trump endorsement could swing the race for a candidate in Michigan.
“A Trump endorsement might have a pretty significant impact on what otherwise looks to be a fairly close race,” Clark said. “In a tight race with candidates who are in many ways very similar on the issues, having a high-profile endorsement may be enough to put a candidate over the hump.”
In this primary election cycle, the former president’s endorsement has generally helped candidates win their races. It hasn’t happened every time, but a notable example is the Ohio Senate race, where JD Vance was behind in the polls until Trump endorsed him just weeks before the race.
Vance ended up winning by nearly 10%.
No matter who wins the Republican nomination for governor, Clark said they will need to expand beyond the Trump base in order to beat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November.
“They can’t simply have the Trumpian faction of the Michigan Republican party in their camp,” Clark said. “That’s not going to win the general election. They’re going to have to find votes from other places. It’ll be an interesting pivot I think for any of the five of them.”
Michigan’s GOP primary election is on Aug. 2.