'They care so much about their state and country:’ GOP convention held in GR Saturday

Posted at 10:52 PM, Apr 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-24 03:28:40-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — On Saturday, there was more than just the scent of roasted almonds filling up DeVos Place Convention Center in downtown Grand Rapids.

Republicans from across the Mitten State gathered inside a massive exhibit hall to hash out just who would end up being the party’s nominee for attorney general and Secretary of State, among a few other school board and Supreme Court positions.

Much of the convention’s energy was focused on their nominee for attorney general, with a lot of vocal enthusiasm on the floor for former President Trump-backed candidate Matt DePerno.

Mike Lindell, known as the My Pillow guy to most, showed up to support DePerno.

“The people on the ground here … it’s just amazing that they care so much about their state and country,” says Lindell.

DePerno was up against Tom Leonard, businessman and former state House speaker.

Kristina Karamo, who has also received an endorsement from Trump, took the nominee for Secretary of State.

Another friend of the former president, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was also in attendance, there to support Lena Epstein in her effort to become a University of Michigan trustee.

Several thousand people packed inside the hall were also there for the chance to hear from the 10 people hoping to run for governor on the GOP ticket.

“Everywhere we go, people are stopping me saying we really love your message; we love what you're saying,” says gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon.

“We ran out of literature, if that doesn't tell you something,” says Michael Derpilibosian on behalf of Perry Johnson’s campaign. “We feel like his support is very strong."

“If we want true progress, we actually have to start being bipartisan, get both parties to work together,” says gubernatorial candidate Michael Markey.

While the party did not select a final gubernatorial candidate Saturday, most of them were there to reiterate their platforms.

“The division I see everywhere, whether in families, in political parties, the Republicans, this state itself, can be healed,” says gubernatorial candidate Ralph Rebandt, “but you have to have a unifier and that's what I am."

“West Michigan has definitely a different geographical location, but the mentality of the people is still the same; we’re freedom-loving individuals,” says gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley.

The majority of the crowd stayed throughout the nearly day-long process, hoping to have an impact on those who might next run our state.

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