DETROIT – Current Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox said she was dropping out of the race for another term -- a decision expected to be made at the state party convention on Saturday (Feb. 6). That decision would also leave former chair and current University of Michigan Regent Ron Weiser as the only candidate for the position.
However, days before the convention, Cox accused Weiser -- when he was chairman -- of paying out $200,000 in party money to Shelby Township Clerk Stanley Grot, a payment in return for Grot dropping out of the race in 2018 for secretary of state.
“It is undisputed that these payments began after Stan dropped out of the secretary of state’s race and just four days before the state’s nominating convention in 2018,” Cox said.
The funds were paid to Grot over a six-month period; however, Grot and Weiser claim the six-figure payment was for doing delegate recruitment.
“Two-hundred thousand dollars for six months work for a part time job is absolutely unbelievable,” Cox said.
Cox claimed that with Grot dropping out of the race, the GOP could then put a woman on the ticket on its all-male ticket. Republican nominee Mary Treder Lang lost to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
The accusation suggests a violation of campaign finance laws, which could result into an investigation by Benson and likely be turned over to Attorney General Dana Nessel.
In a statement, Weiser said, “Laura Cox’s baseless allegations are a desperate attempt to smear my name, based on a longstanding political grudge, and her inability to hold onto the job of party chair that she couldn’t keep on her own merits.”
Instead of stepping down, Cox is looking to be reelected temporarily and allow the state committee to appoint a new chair.
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