While He Appears in Federal Court on Multiple Insurrection-Related Charges, Ryan Kelley Continues to Surge in Republican Primary Days Before Michiganders Start Voting

With just one week before voters can begin casting ballots, Michigan Republicans appear poised to advance Ryan Kelley to the gubernatorial general election, according to new reporting from the Detroit Free Press. Kelley, a known and charged insurrectionist, is scheduled to appear today in a federal district court following last week’s FBI raid of his home that ended in his arrest.

Kelley’s lead comes as MIGOP leadership and the entire Republican gubernatorial field closed ranks around him to defend his participation in the violent insurrection on January 6th, 2021 that resulted in five deaths and 140 injured law enforcement officers.

  • Kevin Rinke, who has already put his millions behind a patently false TV ad broadcasting debunked election conspiracy theories, said he “respect[s] Ryan Kelley” and suggested that the FBI wasn’t “acting appropriately” in prosecuting his actions as an insurrectionist.
  • Garrett Soldano explicitly accused the FBI of being “an arm of the Democrat Party” and “intimidating Republicans.”
  • Tudor Dixon echoed Soldano, stating that Kelley’s arrest was “another example of political prosecution by a Democrat Party notorious for weaponizing government.”
  • Ralph Rebandt went so far as to issue a lengthy statement on the matter, saying that this was just the latest step in a crusade but “the left” to “politicize everything.”

Kelley’s court case involves the following criminal charges: knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct; knowingly engaging in any act of physical violence against person or property in a restricted building or grounds; willfully injuring or committing depredation against property of the U.S. He faces up to four years in prison and $400,000 in fines if convicted.

MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:

“With days to go before Michiganders begin casting ballots, primary voters are lining up behind the candidate with multiple federal charges stemming from well-documented involvement in the violent January 6th insurrection. As further testament to Ryan Kelley’s newfound frontrunner status this cycle, every other Republican quickly bent the knee the day of his arrest, scrambling to issue statements to prove their unbridled commitment to shouldering baseless lies about the electoral process and floating whichever conspiracy theories suit their backwards agendas. Michiganders deserve leadership that will look ahead, not remain stuck relitigating past conspiracies and abetting those that violently target the pillars of our democracy.” 

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