Michigan GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox won't seek reelection

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Laura Cox, chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, announced Wednesday that she won't seek reelection, paving the way for former Chairman Ron Weiser to again lead the state's GOP.

MI GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox makes remarks.

Cox, a former state legislator from Livonia, revealed her decision in an email to supporters. She oversaw the party's operations in the two years leading up to President Donald Trump's loss on Nov. 3.

While Democratic President-elect Joe Biden carried Michigan and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, won reelection, Republicans maintained a majority in the state House and succeeded in a competitive race in Michigan's 3rd U.S. House District, where Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids, was elected.

"(I)t is with mixed emotions that I write to let you know that I am not seeking reelection as party chair. Over the Christmas holiday, I realized that while this has been the best job of my life, it is time to move on," Cox said. "But while I move on from the title, I will never move on from our party or principles we all fight for.

The chairwoman's statement came Wednesday as chaos erupted at the U.S. Capitol, where Trump supporters stormed the building and disrupted the joint session of Congress where presidential electoral votes were going to be counted. One person, a woman was fatally shot, and an unidentified number of Capitol Police officers were injured. The letter also came a day after two U.S. Senate elections in Georgia were won by Democrats, giving the party control of the chamber.

Ron Weiser

"While the news in DC and Georgia and elsewhere may bring you down, take heart: Ours is a Great Nation and ours is a great cause," Cox wrote.

Cox was facing a reelection challenge from Weiser, a businessman who serves as a  University of Michigan regent and is a well-known political fundraiser. Weiser has said he's been endorsed for chairman by the majority of Michigan House and Senate Republicans and five of the seven Michigan Republican members of the U.S. House. 

He founded the real estate investment company McKinley Associates Inc. in 1968 and served as its CEO and chairman through 2001. Weiser chaired the state party in 2009-2010 and 2017-2018.

The party convention, where the chair vote will take place, is scheduled for Feb. 6.