An Ann Arbor businessman was elected leader of the Michigan Republican Party on Saturday, taking the reins for a third time despite last-minute efforts to derail his candidacy.
Ron Weiser and co-chair Meshawn Maddock got 66% of the vote during an online convention, the party said.
“The skirmishes of yesterday are over,” Weiser said in a written statement, adding that he will focus on defeating Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other ”far-left radicals” in 2022.
It’s the third time that Weiser has been chairman of the Michigan GOP. He replaces Laura Cox, who wasn’t planning to seek reelection but changed her mind and accused Weiser of misconduct.
Cox said Weiser paid a Macomb County activist $200,000 to stay out of the secretary of state race in 2018 when he last led the party. Weiser said the money given to Stan Grot was for legitimate party work.
After her defeat, Cox vowed never to stop “fighting for our conservative principles and what we stand for.” She had hoped to win again and serve only until early April when the state committee could pick a successor.
U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain nominated Weiser, calling him a successful businessman, fundraiser and supporter of former President Donald Trump. Weiser’s name is on party headquarters.
“He is best suited to lead us and unify us,” McClain said. “He will lead our party to victory in 2022.”
Weiser’s election might not extinguish the controversy over the Grot payments. Cox said she filed a complaint with state election officials.
Weiser also is a member of the University of Michigan’s governing board.