Outspoken Trump backer Matt Maddock running for Michigan House leader
Lansing — Rep. Matt Maddock, one of former President Donald Trump's most outspoken supporters in the Michigan Legislature, confirmed in a brief Tuesday interview that he wants to be the state House's next GOP leader.
Maddock, a conservative firebrand from Milford and the husband of Michigan Republican Party Co-Chairwoman Meshawn Maddock, said his race to be the caucus leader is "going great" and he "absolutely" believes he'll be the next House speaker.
"I want to make sure we're in the majority. I'm going to work my tail off to make sure that happens. Then, the speaker race will be held at the appropriate time after we're in the majority," Maddock said before entering an elevator to go to a meeting in downtown Lansing.
Michigan Republicans hold a 57-52 seat majority in the state House. The current speaker, Rep. Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, is term limited and can't seek another term. Every seat will be on the ballot in 2022.
Rep. Matt Hall, R-Marshall, is seen by many as the early favorite to be next the House GOP leader for the 2023-2024 term, but Maddock's candidacy could test the strength of a faction of new candidates who've advanced Trump's unproven claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.
Maddock was one of 12 Michigan lawmakers who signed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to require legislative certification of Michigan's presidential results and one of 11 Republicans who signed a letter asking then-Vice President Mike Pence to delay certification of electoral votes in battleground states.
He was also part of a group of Republicans who attempted to enter the Michigan Capitol Dec. 14 to cast an alternate slate of electoral votes.
Maddock's leadership political action committee reported raising $17,520 over the last fundraising quarter. The PAC disclosed only a $500 expenditure for record keeping.
However, six Republican candidates for the state House reported receiving contributions from Maddock's PAC in August. It's unclear why the contributions weren't reported as expenditures by the PAC. One of the contributions listed the PAC at a House Office Building address.
Maddock didn't respond to a question about why the contributions weren't listed on his PAC's report.
Hall's PAC, the Matt Hall Majority Fund, reported raising $120,585 over the last quarter. In a Tuesday interview, Hall said 15 GOP representatives are supporting his candidacy to be the next leader.
"I’m out there every day promoting the House Republicans and building relationships and raising money so that we win in the next election," he said.
Hall is chairman of the House Tax Policy Committee. Last session, he chaired the House Oversight Committee, which took testimony from Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani on Dec. 2.
At least two other candidates are in the House GOP leadership race: Rep. Sarah Lightner of Springport and Andrew Fink of Hillsdale.