ICYMI: Laser-focused on 2020, Trump seeks a Michigan Legislature that could help him in 2024

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WASHINGTON — Trump is endorsing legislative candidates in Michigan who support the Big Lie, ahead of the 2022 midterms. This piece from NBC News highlights the fact that Trump is getting involved down-ballot, in a clear attempt to not only undermine the 2020 election but also to lay the groundwork to steal future elections in this key battleground state.

“Trump’s continued efforts to attack our democracy are an insult to the Constitution,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Heather Williams. “The rot in the GOP runs all the way down the ballot as Trump continues to prop up legislative candidates who have made false election reviews central to their platform. It is more important than ever to elect Democrats in these legislatures to hold Republicans accountable and defend the right to vote in this country.”

Republican legislators across the country have been in lockstep with Trump as they become more and more radical and pursue anti-democratic policies and election reviews.

NBC News: Laser-focused on 2020, Trump seeks a Michigan Legislature that could help him in 2024

…It’s unusual for a former president to endorse in races so deep down the ballot, especially nearly nine months before the Republican primary. But Trump has backed seven candidates for state House or Senate seats in Michigan, an electoral battleground that he lost narrowly to Joe Biden last year — more than anywhere else. Most of the endorsements, including Rocha’s, were announced in recent weeks. All of the candidates have one thing in common: They’ve made election administration and investigating last year’s vote central to their platforms.

Trump’s focus on the state illuminates just how driven he is to exact revenge on those who haven’t supported his baseless claim that the last election was stolen from him. It’s also a play to install allies who could be helpful should he run for president again in 2024 and find himself locked in another close race. The Republican-controlled Legislature spent eight months investigating the results of the 2020 presidential election and found no reason to doubt their legitimacy. GOP leaders have also refused to accede to Trump’s demands for a ballot review like the one Republicans authorized in Arizona, which found no proof of fraud and concluded that Biden defeated Trump in the state by even more votes than the certified tally showed.

“Michigan needs a new legislature,” Trump wrote in his Nov. 15 endorsement of Rachelle Smit for state representative. “The cowards there now are too spineless to investigate Election Fraud.”

Trump also has endorsed candidates for attorney general and secretary of state, a key position in charge of election administration, as well as GOP primary challengers to two Michigan members of Congress who voted to impeach him in January after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to block Biden’s victory. All of his picks have questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election results…

But Trump has made it clear that denying the results of the 2020 presidential election is central to his support, if not his agenda…

Meshawn Maddock, who later became a co-chair of the state party, helped organize buses to Washington in January and spoke briefly at a rally there before the riot at the Capitol. Her husband, state Rep. Matt Maddock, scored Trump’s endorsement for his re-election bid this month.

“The Trump train is coming and I wouldn’t want to be in the way,” Maddock said in an email, adding two arm-flexing emojis to underscore his message…

Trump’s candidates for the Legislature have appeared at a number of election fraud rallies throughout Michigan over the past year. Rocha, who initially was running for a U.S. House seat this cycle until Trump backed one of his opponents, was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, although he said that he “never got close to the actual steps” and that he was unaware of the severity of the riot inside until he left at 3:30 p.m. and regained a cell signal.

“We need to restore the faith in the election, because people are not moving on,” he said. “They are just as angry today, a year later, as they were a year ago.”

Rocha is the only candidate who is running in a Democratic-leaning district, while Detmer is the only candidate taking on a GOP incumbent. Still, much about the races is subject to change when redistricting is completed and Michigan’s new electoral maps are finalized.

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