WASHINGTON, Mich. — Former President Donald Trump spent his Saturday night in Washington Township, Michigan, stumping for candidates he’s endorsed ahead of the Michigan GOP nominating convention later this month.
Over the past few months, Trump has endorsed candidates in Michigan for attorney general, secretary of state, Congress and the state Legislature, but he has not yet weighed in on the crowded field seeking the GOP nomination for governor.
The dozen-person field vying for it, have been jockeying for an endorsement from the 45th president and while he did not endorse anyone from the stage this weekend, he did praise one of them.
“Now we have a candidate for governor who’s very popular, who’s a fantastic, brilliant candidate, Tudor Dixon.” Trump said to crowd “Thank you, Tudor. I heard you are doing well too,” he added.
“It was such an honor to have the former president of the United States come out and say that about me,” Dixon said in an interview with FOX 17 Sunday.
The conservative commentator from Norton Shores gained Trump’s praise Saturday and she says she'd be honored to have his endorsement.
“Take a look at the primary that just happened in Texas, Trump-endorsed candidates ran away with those elections. I think [his endorsement is] very important. He has a huge influence on the party,” Dixon added.
Dixon held a fundraiser at Trump's Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, fellow candidate, businessman Perry Johnson recently attended a fundraising event there, and former Detroit Police chief James Craig reportedly visited with former president last fall.
All three were at Saturday’s rally, but Dixon was the only one he namechecked. Dixon says she talked with Trump before he took the stage.
“We talked about our policies to bring manufacturing back. In his speech, he talked quite a bit about manufacturing amd that's near and dear to my heart, of course, because I come from the steel industry, but also the importance of keeping parents in schools, defending women in sports, all of these issues that impact Michigan families. He knows where I stand, and he knows that I want to fight for us,” says Dixon.
Trump’s endorsement could give a boost to a campaign like Dixon’s, which hasn’t raised nearly as much money as some of her competitors at this point in the race. Despite that, she's confident about where she stands.
“It seems as though wherever we go, we're able to resonate with people and really meet one-on-one and have people realize that I'm a real person and I'm here for them. I think what we're doing is working and we're just really excited about what the future holds,” Dixon added.
Perry Johnson's campaign is dismissing the former president's comments as anything more than a compliment, "He simply said nice things about a nice woman who has a failing broke campaign stuck at 2% in the polls despite trying to campaign for a year,” said John Yob.
Dixon has received notable endorsements from U.S Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) and U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Bruce Township) as well as state Sen. Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake).
The GOP primary takes place in August, the winner will go on to face incumbent Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in November.