More Chaos Hits The Michigan GOP Primary Race After Candidate Arrested By FBI: Here’s What’s Happening
Michigan State Capitol On a Sunny Day
ReDunnLev/Getty Images

The Michigan Republican gubernatorial primary was thrown into more chaos Thursday morning when candidate Ryan Kelley was taken into FBI custody as his home was raided by federal agents.

On the same day the Democrat-led Select Committee on January 6 is set to conduct hearings, Kelley was arrested and charged with misdemeanors connected to his presence at the January 6 Capitol riot in Washington, D.C. Video evidence allegedly shows the GOP candidate encouraging protesters as they entered the Capitol building, according to Bridge News.

The fed’s “Statement of Facts” against Kelley claims, “[T]here is also probable cause to believe that KELLEY violated 18 U.S.C. § 1361, which makes it a crime to willfully injure or commit any depredation against any property of the United States, or of any department or agency thereof, or any property which has been or is being manufactured or constructed for the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or attempt to commit any of the foregoing offenses.”

The FBI raid on Kelley’s home follows weeks of shakeups to the Michigan primary race. Just last week, the Michigan Supreme Court ended the hopes of three other GOP gubernatorial candidates after the Michigan Bureau of Elections found their ballot petitions contained forged signatures.

In late May, the Michigan Bureau of Elections recommended disqualifying two of the top Republican candidates from the ballot. The recommendation followed a review of the ballot petitions submitted by a number of GOP candidates that found that former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and businessman Perry Johnson had fraudulent signatures on their petitions. Because of the fraud, the candidates fell short of the required 15,000 signatures to appear on the August ballot.

Just days later, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers came to split decisions on five separate fraud cases, meaning that Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidates, including Craig and Johnson, are ineligible to appear on the ballot. 

The Michigan Supreme Court then denied appeals from Craig and Johnson to review the Bureau of Elections’ conclusions, meaning only five GOP candidates will appear on the primary ballot. But after Thursday’s news surrounding Kelley, even that number could come into question.

While Kelley’s future in the GOP race remains unknown, a primary ballot without him would leave just four Republican candidates, down from the ten candidates who initially filed for election.

Kelley’s GOP challengers released statements on his arrest, saying they were praying for his family, and one opponent called out the FBI for “intimidating Republicans.”

“We extend our prayers to the Kelley family,” candidate Garrett Soldano tweeted Thursday. “It’s a sad day in America when the FBI has become an arm of the Democrat Party. Biden’s FBI is busy targeting parents and intimidating Republicans while crime runs rampant across America.”

Another Republican candidate for governor, businessman Kevin Rinke, told The Daily Wire that he respects Kelley, and he’s praying for him and his family as he waits for more information to come out from the FBI’s raid.

Rinke also tweeted about the raid and arrest, linking an article about President Joe Biden joking on Jimmy Kimmel Wednesday night that his Republican opponents should be sent to jail for “not playing it square.”

“I respect Ryan Kelley and have met him out on the trail,” Rinke said. “My hope is that the FBI is acting appropriately, because the timing here raises serious questions. Praying for him and his family.”

A spokesman for Kelley’s challenger Tudor Dixon told The Daily Wire that Dixon does not have a comment on Kelley’s arrest. Another one of Kelley’s Republican opponents, Pastor Ralph Rebandt, had not released any statement on Kelley at the time of publication.

Michigan voters have until August 2 to determine who they will back for the Republican nomination in what has become an unpredictable race.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  More Chaos Hits The Michigan GOP Primary Race After Candidate Arrested By FBI: Here’s What’s Happening