trump on stage
Donald Trump is again focusing on Michigan as he seeks to win the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 (Bridge photo by Brett Farmer)

LANSING — Michigan’s entire Republican congressional delegation is backing Donald Trump’s bid to return to the White House, his presidential campaign announced Tuesday. 

This story also appeared in Bridge Michigan

U.S. Reps. Tim Walberg, Bill Huizenga, John Molenaar, Jack Bergman, Lisa McClain and John James will also serve on Trump’s “2024 Michigan federal leadership team,” according to the campaign.

The uniform show of support from congressional Republicans could provide a boost to Trump, who is leading in national polls while facing criminal indictments and a crowded field of GOP primary challengers.

Trump’s chief rival for the Republican nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has secured endorsements from more than 20 Republicans in the Michigan Legislature, including Senate Majority Leader Aric Nesbitt.

In backing Trump, congressional Republicans cited his 2016 win in the state, saying he has “ability to win in key battleground states like Michigan” despite losing here in 2020 to Democrat Joe Biden by 154,188 votes.

“President Trump will rebuild a great American economy, unleash domestic energy, secure our border, and make America safe again,” Walberg, Huizenga, Moolenaar, Bergman and McClain said in a joint statement. 

In a separate statement released by the Trump campaign, James argued Biden’s policies have been “particularly detrimental to Michigan’s middle-class” and touted low inflation and “pro-family” policies under Trump. 

“In 2024, we need to give hope to Americans who feel like their government is failing them,” James said. 

None of the congressional Republicans referenced Trump’s ongoing criminal cases. 

The former president has pleaded not guilty to New York charges of falsifying business records in an alleged effort to cover up hush money to a former adult film star, and to federal charges of hoarding classified documents, obstructing justice and making false statements.  

Michigan Democratic Party spokesperson Andrew Feldman criticized the endorsements. 

“It’s no surprise that the Michigan GOP’s congressional delegation has thrown their full weight behind former President Donald Trump,” Feldman said in a statement. “We’ve seen firsthand how they’ve touted his conspiracy theories, advocated for policies that would devastate the middle class, and perpetually spread the same kind of hateful rhetoric we heard from the former president.”

While DeSantis has the backing of several state legislators, his lack of support from any Michigan congressional Republicans is a notable absence for his campaign. DeSantis served in Congress with Walberg, Huizenga, Moolenaar and Bergman before winning the Florida governor’s race in 2018.

Trump and DeSantis have both already made campaign stops in Michigan this year, although DeSantis’ war on “woke” speech at an April Midland County Republican Party breakfast came before he formally launched his bid. 

Trump spoke at an Oakland County Republican Party dinner last month, renewing his appeal to blue collar workers with dire warnings about potential job losses as automakers shift to electric vehicles. 

Another GOP contender, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, also campaigned in Michigan in May. 

Other GOP hopefuls include Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former Vice President Mike Pence, who broke with Trump after refusing to help overturn Biden’s election win on Jan. 1, 2021. 

Michigan Republicans are attempting to replace the state’s traditional presidential primary election with a hybrid system that would use closed congressional district caucus meetings to decide a majority of the state’s delegates to the national party’s nominating convention.

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