Last (Only) Michigan Republican Running for President, Perry Johnson Drops Out and Endorses Trump

AP Photo/Bryon Houlgrave

Well, that's a wrap on the self-proclaimed quality gurus campaign for the Republican nomination for President for the 2024 cycle. I would say, "Fare thee well, Mr. Johnson, for we hardly knew ye," but we, in truthfulness, didn't know you at all.


In an odd twist of fate, the news finally arrived about Johnson's announcement here in Michigan about his decision last Friday, today. Somehow this breaking news traveled as fast as the Pony Express back in the day — but seemingly without a pony.

When I read about this announcement here, I was mildly shocked to learn he was still in the race.

Michigan businessman Perry Johnson suspended his campaign for president Friday after spending more than $14 million of his own money but failing to make the stage for debates with other Republican contenders.

Johnson, a self-described "quality guru" and former candidate for governor from Bloomfield Hills, announced his decision in a statement about eight months after he launched his bid for the White House.

"With no opportunity to share my vision on the debate stage, I have decided at this time, suspending my campaign is the right thing to do," Johnson said.

Now, of course, I'm just mildly having some fun with Mr. Johnson and his now-suspended campaign. Perry ran for governor last year and ran into some hiccups, but anybody who has $14 million to spend on a now-suspended campaign should be treated as a serious contender.

At least by the consultant class.

Johnson's race for the GOP nomination for governor last year ran into a major snafu when it was revealed that he had not received the required number of signatures to gain access to the ballot. This was a tad bit shocking for somebody who portrayed himself as a quality guru making his fortune in the automotive industry.


The reports also say that Oakland County businessman and "quality guru" Perry Johnson did not file enough valid signatures, but they clear Norton Shores businesswoman Tudor Dixon, whose petitions were also the subject of a complaint.

But the reports go further, recommending that Michigan State Police Capt. Michael Brown, Byron Center businesswoman Donna Brandenburg and Grand Haven financial adviser Michael Markey also be excluded from the ballot for having too few signatures.

A number of other candidates, including the frontrunner at the time, former Detroit police chief James Craig, also got snagged into using an organization that was not collecting signatures on the up-and-up, and it was caught by groups opposing their candidacies and brought to the attention of the Michigan Secretary of State.

This is one of the reasons why I have been POUNDING INTO THE GROUND that the Michigan GOP is currently dead. When you can't get people who are recommending people who can do the basic job of collecting signatures to get your name on a ballot, your organization is rotted to the core.

This is one of the reasons I wrote this article a couple of weeks ago — to remind everyone here in the state how bad it is. 


With Just Over 30k in the Bank, the Funeral March Has Begun for the Michigan GOP.

A listing of Michigan Republican Party account balances from West Michigan Community Bank showed $35,051 across seven accounts, with expenses for many of the scheduled speakers at the Sept. 22-24 conference on Mackinac Island not yet paid, including author Dinesh D'Souza and unsuccessful former Arizona candidate for governor Kari Lake.

At this point, 13 months before a presidential election, the Michigan Republican Party should have about $10 million in its accounts, said Tom Leonard, a former Michigan House speaker and former finance chairman for the state GOP.

The party had less than 1% of the $10 million target.

You should have 10 million dollars this far out from a PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION and you have less than 1%? Sign me up for this leadership team to lead the state GOP to victory. Hell at this rate the Get Out The Vote strategy and money raising is going,  Trump could lose this state by even more than he did in 2020.

Thankfully, there may be hope for the future in 2026 or 2028 if what Mr. Johnson says below is true, and I have no reason to doubt him.

"I am 100% committed to helping Republicans win across the country in 2024 and plan to be actively involved in making sure we do just that, especially in my home state of Michigan."

Johnson's campaign had raised about $14.6 million through the end of September, according to disclosures. About $14.4 million of that total came through loans or contributions from Johnson himself.


Johnson himself as a candidate for governor and president may have been forgettable, but possibly where he can help the party and the state is behind the scenes organizing a dysfunctional Michigan GOP that right now is so badly in debt that 2024 is already written off before the end of 2023.

I hope that is the case.


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