Statement on Presidential Nomination Rules Change

This post is to help clarify the decision made last weekend by the Michigan Republican Party to change the process by which we will nominate our candidate for President of the United States next year.

As one would expect, people with various political motivations have explained this decision in a way that leaves more questions than answers.

Here is the simple explanation and context behind this decision.

In January 2023, the Democrat-controlled state legislature passed a law opposed by every Republican lawmaker to move the Michigan Presidential Primary to February 27th, 2024, which would have made it one of the earliest contests in the nation.

The obvious reason Democrats did so, knowing that they had no presidential nominating contest to speak of, was to invite Democrat voters to vote in an early and therefore influential Republican primary election.

But as the Democrats also knew, moving the primary to this early date would violate long-standing, non-negotiable rules of the Republican National Committee, and the Republican National Convention would have seated only 12 Michigan delegates, rather than 55.

It was a cynical power play by the Democrats, to meddle in the Republican presidential race and humiliate Michigan Republican voters.

Given that scenario, the Michigan Republican State Committee voted last weekend to turn the tables, and considered a variety of options.

If we held our own primary election in March, the party would have had to pay for it, costing us millions of dollars. That money would then be unavailable to spend winning the November election.

Another option was to hold Iowa-style caucuses, but that would have required every county Republican Party to administer a complex, potentially expensive caucus event that nobody had experience doing. It would have been a big risk if there were problems in any county caucus.

Instead, the Michigan Republican Party, in consultation with the Republican National Committee, crafted a plan that maintains Michigan’s open primary while reclaiming our national delegates: by allocating our 16 at-large delegates by the result of the primary, and 39 congressional district delegates by the result of party caucuses in March.

Under the plan, which was approved by the State Committee 67-21, we will still have a primary election on February 27th, but also a county convention on February 26th to elect delegates to congressional district caucuses held on March 2nd. In each of Michigan’s 13 congressional districts, those delegates will make a presidential preference vote to award their three national delegates.


• Instead of having 12 national delegates chosen in the primary, we have 16 delegates chosen in the primary and 39 additional delegates. We get all of our national delegates back.

• We do not allow Democrats to control how we nominate our presidential candidates.

• We keep Michigan a competitive state whose early results will shape the race, ensuring that candidates have an incentive to compete for Michigan. This can only help our down ballot state and local candidates receive the spotlight they deserve in so many tough elections.

This is a win-win-win plan that reclaims our national delegates, allows for full public participation in the process, and ensures that Michigan will be important in what could be the most compelling Presidential election in our lifetime.

I would like to thank the State Committee, the Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee (including Dr. Rob Steele) for their hard work in resolving this issue.

Thank you and please consider donating your time and supporting the Washtenaw County Republican Party financially. It is important we take back our County, our State, and our Country.

In liberty and freedom,

John Dunlap
Chair, Washtenaw County Republican Party