Has Donald Trump Made a Bad Deal for an Endorsement in the Michigan Governor's Race?

AP Photo/Chris Seward

The race for statewide offices in Michigan officially begins this weekend, and some are questioning if Donald Trump has already made a bad deal in the race for Governor here in the state. If the rumor is true, this would be just another confusing move done in conjunction with the statewide Republican party operatives that have not been effective since John Engler left office in 2003.


For those of you who suffered through public schools like moi, that means 19 years ago.

The Michigan Republican Party is set to meet this weekend in Grand Rapids to decide who their nominees will be for Secretary of State and Attorney General. The GOP nominee for governor will be decided in a primary this August. This is the part of the story that is easy to understand and makes sense. Picking your statewide candidates for A.G. and S.O.S. a little over five months away from the election gives them enough time to build name recognition and critique the job currently done by Jocelyn Benson — the current Secretary of State and Dana Nessel the Attorney General.

Here is the part where it starts to get weird and murky, which is really the way Michigan Republican Party operatives seem to like to work, for as long as I can remember.

According to veteran Michigan political reporter Tim Skubic, Donald Trump’s endorsement for governor in the primary this August will hinge on who gets the Attorney General nomination this weekend at the convention.

From Skubic’s column explaining this odd rumor…

Enter the smoke-filled room of former President Donald Trump and longtime Michigan political backroom wizard John Yob for a rare glimpse into the inside game now unfolding before your very eyes.

Yob has two major clients this year: Perry Johnson, who is running for governor, and Matthew DePerno, running for state attorney general.

Trump is up to his eyeballs in trying to push DePerno past incumbent Democratic AG Dana Nessel, but first, he needs to get his candidate the nomination at a Republican party conclave slated for Saturday.

While the Trump campaign was asked to comment on what you are about to read, that request went out over a week ago and the sound of the crickets from down in Florida is deafening.

However, two Michigan sources claim this is what’s coming down, as we clear away the smoke so you can have a peak:

If Yob can line up enough votes to secure the AG nomination for Trump’s guy, DePerno, then Trump will endorse Yob’s guy for the GOP nomination for governor, Johnson.

It’s the classic case of “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours.”

So what? you rightfully ask.


I’m asking “say what?” and also adding a couple of other choice phrases that cannot be posted here.

Now, I’m not naive, I know how politics works and the role of political consultants. Those working on campaigns are supposed to put their candidates in the best position possible in every instance that they can. Of course, getting an endorsement from POTUS 45 is a huge feather in the cap, and will undoubtedly help the campaign. Yet, I have never heard of a deal being struck that hinges on endorsing one, and then if they win, you endorse another one that is being represented by the same consultant. This sounds like one of those cheesy, Billy Mays commercials where you buy one and get one free, that you used to see at 2 a.m. and chuckle at.

When I first read this, I immediately thought this was one of those goofy rumor stories that you always hear at bars near closing, when somebody’s talking just a little bit too loud for their own good. Yet, Skubik has been around the game for so long, and he is so well known and trusted; he does get told things that have some heat to them. He has two sources that believe this, and he felt comfortable enough to go ahead and print this. That makes me take a long pause and wonder.

Would Donald Trump be susceptible to making a goofy deal like this?


As I wrote here after Trump made his endorsement of Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago, he read the room wrong on how that move would be received by his base. Did Donald Trump Just Burn Some Bridges With His Base Over the Dr. Oz Endorsement?. The ‘Trump walks on water’ social media brigade almost universally hated that move. I wonder if a similar backlash could happen here, if something as odd as an Attorney General pick comes with an endorsement of a person running for Governor.

Maybe, maybe not.

I do know there is li’l room for error here in Michigan. The Great Lakes State is currently a blue one and needs everything to break right to go purple this November. Gov Whitmer has done a god-awful job the past four years, but she still has a decent shot as we stand here today at getting re-elected. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Files for Reelection — Can She Win?

As unbelievable as that sounds, it is true.

Hopefully, Donald Trump, as the rumor above alleges, has not made a head-scratching move that could keep even one voter home come this fall. I don’t think Ron DeSantis would make that move.

Because four more years of Gretch will make a lot of us wretch.


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