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Laura Cox announces bid for GOP Party chair

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
Laura Cox, R-Livonia

After losing her bid for Michigan’s Senate last week, state Rep. Laura Cox is wasting no time in announcing her run for a different position.

The Livonia Republican said in a Monday statement that she is a candidate to chair the Michigan Republican Party. Current Chairman Ron Weiser, a prolific fundraiser, Ann Arbor real estate developer and University of Michigan regent, is expected to step down from the post. 

The 54-year-old chair of House Appropriations Committee, Cox said she was disappointed by Tuesday’s results but said 2020 “is right around the corner.”

“I am asking for your support, so that together we can do the important work needed to win for President Trump, our shared ideals, all of our Republican candidates, and our nation in 2020,” the statement said.

Cox served 13 years as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, spent several years as a precinct delegate and was a member of the Wayne County Commission. She is married to former Attorney General Mike Cox, also a Republican.

“I have never been afraid to go toe-to-toe with my Democrat opponents,” Cox wrote.

On Saturday, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley encouraged House Speaker Tom Leonard of Dewitt, who recently lost his bid for attorney general, to run for the position in a post on Facebook.

Leonard was a high-performing statewide Republican candidate, is a proficient fundraiser and knows “the old guard and the new guard” of the GOP, Calley wrote.

“Not many people thought that the Republicans could hold the Michigan House, and yet, we did,” Calley wrote. “The House that Tom led withstood the toughest election cycle we’ve had since 2008.”

Leonard said he was "seriously considering" a run for the position in a Facebook post Sunday, and promised to make a decision soon. He said re-electing Trump would be a priority for the party.

Pundits also have mentioned Farmington Hills businessman John James, who lost a closer-than-expected election to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, as another party chair candidate.

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