Conservative radio host Tudor Dixon is leading in the polls heading into Tuesday's GOP gubernatorial primary, but it's anyone's game if Trump gets involved, an analyst tells Politico.
“If he endorses, he probably is the kingmaker, because this thing is so fluid and because none of the candidates have really carved out any real identity or support,” said Jason Cabel Roe, a veteran Republican strategist and former executive director of the state party who was nudged out in 2021 after criticizing Trump. “In the absence of the endorsement, I give Tudor a slight edge.”
Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, (candidate and chiropractor Garrett) Soldano last week urged Trump to “stay out of this race,” saying the grassroots would be unhappy if he backed the “DeVos empire” and their candidate in Dixon. Soldano had previously publicly sought Trump’s endorsement.
Candidates have also been jockeying for Trump’s support behind the scenes, with Dixon telling reporters after Wednesday’s debate that the former president is “very interested” in the state and that she has spoken with him recently.
The field also features car dealer chain scion Kevin Rinke, who has been polling just behind Dixon, and Ryan Kelley, who was earlier this summer arrested in connection with his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Dixon has already twice been name-checked by Trump. In February, he praised her during a fundraiser she paid to hold at his Mar-a-Lago resort, and, in April, he called her a "fantastic, brilliant candidate" during a rally in Macomb.