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New PAC will support right-wing Republicans; Whitmer sees midterm results as a rebuke of violence

Whitmer, wearing a pink blazer and a pin that says "bans off our bodies" stands and talks at a lectern
Carlos Osorio/AP
Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during Election Night, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she hopes this month’s election results are a repudiation of political violence. And State Representative Steve Carra says Republicans lost last Tuesday because they were too "milquetoast."

Whitmer, who just won a second term, told CNN’s State of the Union over the weekend that voters responded to events like the kidnapping plot against her and the assault on the husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“I think that this is a moment where good people need to call this out and say we will not tolerate this in this country and, perhaps, part of that message was sent this election,” she said.

Whitmer led a Democratic sweep last week of the state’s top offices as well as control of the Legislature. It’s the first time in nearly 40 years that Democrats have held the governor’s office, the House and the Senate. But Whitmer said she’s ready to bargain with Republicans, too.

“Just because we now control all branches of government in Michigan doesn’t mean that I’ll change my tactics,” she said. “There’s a seat at the table for anyone who’s serious about solving problems and building a Michigan that ensures generations can thrive.”

Bargaining will be necessary with slim majorities – 20-18 in the Senate and 56-54 in the House.

Whitmer said the abortion rights ballot proposal in Michigan also helped turn out voters.

“These are fundamental core issues. If we are going to design our lives and make our decisions around our families, that is without question an economic decision, as well.”

A New PAC for Right-Wing GOP Candidates

A group of Michigan Republicans is launching a new a new political action committee to push the party further to the right.

The new “Grand New Party PAC” says it aims to help “America First” candidates with school board and legislative primary races.

Republican Representative Steve Carra chairs the committee.

He contrasted the election night victories of Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to say Michigan GOP leadership let the party down.

"We saw a failure of moderating and a failure of being milquetoast and passive and doing what Gretchen Whitmer wanted us to do. We got a failure. Ron DeSantis stood up for what he believed in in Florida and he fought for principles that we want on our side of the aisle and the people rewarded him immensely," Carra said.

Grand New Party executive director Shane Trejo said current Republican infrastructure is too protective of the status quo.

"Grand New Party is building the infrastructure so that conservative candidates can have backing, have support and not be out on an island when they’re running for office or when they’re elected," he said.

Trejo added that some of the group’s policy goals include weakening bureaucratic power, increasing transparency and ending incentives programs that give tax breaks to large corporations.

Carra said the PAC hopes to raise between $250,000 and $500,000 for the 2024 election cycle.