Jon Rocha was determined to watch the new Ghostbusters and his young daughter at the movies last year when he received the news: Former President Donald Trump has approved his bid to represent the country in Michigan.
"I was looking at my phone to make sure it was quiet, and suddenly I got a notification that I was marked in a tweet" about the authorization, Rocha said. Little did he know that Trump support was coming. "Imagine watching a movie all over your phone exploding."
It is not uncommon for a former president to approve such deep-seated races in voting, especially about nine months before a Republican primary. But Trump has backed seven candidates for the State House or Senate seats in Michigan, a polling station that was narrowly defeated by Joe Biden last year - more than any other. Most of the recommendations, including Rocha's, have been announced in recent weeks. All candidates have one thing in common: They have made election management and scrutinized last year's vote a priority in their forums.
Trump’s focus on the nation reveals how determined he is to take revenge on those who did not support his baseless claim that the last election was stolen from him. It is also a game of co-op that could be useful if he re-runs the presidency in 2024 and finds himself trapped in another race. The Republican Legislature spent eight months investigating the results of the 2020 presidential election and found no reason to doubt its legitimacy. GOP leaders have also refused to accept Trump's demands to reconsider a vote similar to those of Republican-sanctioned Arizona, which found no evidence of fraud and concluded that Biden defeated Trump in the province by more than confirmed votes.
"Michigan needs a new legislature," Trump wrote in Nov. 15 authorization of the state representative Rachelle Smit. "The current cowards are not very sensible to investigate election fraud."
Trump has also authorized candidates for general election and state secretary, an important electoral body, and GOP opponents who challenged two Michigan Congress members to vote for him in January after his supporters stormed the US Capitol in a bid to block Biden's victory. All his nominees have questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election results.
He has not yet approved the position of governor of the bustling Republic of Michigan, but he has met competitors who are seeking his blessing.
"President Trump is committed to saving the United States and saving Michigan by supporting and supporting candidates who will fight for the America First agenda," Trump's spokeswoman Taylor Budowich said in a statement released by NBC News.
But Trump has made it clear that denying the results of the 2020 presidential election is crucial to his support, if not his agenda.
"There are too many Trump people in Michigan," he wrote, allowing Rocha. “I love Michigan. It has some very nice people, and very poorly chosen officials. ”
Trump's attempt to undermine the previous presidential election met with strong opposition from other Republicans in Michigan.
Jason Roe, former executive director of the Michigan GOP, told Politico last year that there was no fraud and that Trump had no one but him who should blame his loss. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and then House Speaker Lee Chatfield, who met with Trump in the White House after the election, eventually refused to interfere. State Attorney Ed McBroom investigated Trump's allegations before announcing he had found no evidence of widespread fraud.
But there have also been signs of tolerance for Trump.