Most Trump endorsements in Michigan races likely to 'fail,' Shirkey says

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey has expressed doubt about the influence of former President Donald Trump's endorsement of Trump loyalists running for Michigan legislative and statewide offices, indicating most of the candidates are likely to fail. 

"We shall let the results speak for themselves, but I will go on record right now predicting that most of the endorsements will fail," the Clarklake Republican told Jackson TV host Bart Hawley in an episode that aired Wednesday.

"We can play this back a year from now and find out what happened," Shirkey added. 

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey

Trump has endorsed several state House and Senate candidates who have questioned the results of the 2020 election as well as candidates for Michigan attorney general and secretary of state who also have made unfounded claims of fraud.

In a series of statements in November, Trump said Michigan needed a "new Legislature" and called current lawmakers "cowards" who were "too spineless to investigate election fraud."

Local clerks, both Republican and Democratic, conducted more than 250 audits of the 2020 election and affirmed President Joe Biden's 154,00 vote victory over Trump in Michigan. Countless court rulings also have upheld Biden's victory in Michigan.

The GOP-led Senate Oversight Committee took more than 28 hours of committee testimony from about 90 people and reviewed thousands of subpoenaed documents before concluding there was no evidence of significant acts of fraud in the 2020 election. 

Shirkey in the Wednesday interview said he didn't regret his meeting with Trump and seven other Michigan legislative leaders on Nov. 20, 2020, as Trump continued to assert the election had been rigged more than two weeks after Election Day. 

In a statement after the meeting, Shirkey and then-House Speaker Lee Chatfield said that they had "not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and, as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election."

Shirkey on Wednesday said he felt they "did the right thing" and audits, investigations and reviews since that time have only served to affirm Trump's loss in Michigan. 

"There's a lot of things that happened in that election that need to be tightened up but, in Michigan in particular, President Trump lost. He just simply lost," Shirkey said. 

Shirkey also criticized efforts to conduct a "forensic audit" of the election as well as an "insurrection anniversary" planned by the Hillsdale County Republican Party on Jan. 6, 2022. 

Shirkey said the planned event was "horrible" and planned by a "small cohort" in the Hillsdale area. 

"Nobody should be celebrating what happened on Jan. 6, 2021," he said.

Staff writer Craig Mauger contributed.