Chair of the University’s Board of Regents and outgoing Michigan Republican Party chairman Ron Weiser announced Saturday at the Michigan Republican State Convention in Lansing that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

At the convention, delegates from the MRP elected former state representative Laura Cox to replace Weiser as MRP chairman. Cox promised to expand outreach to attract more female and youth voters in order to secure President Donald Trump’s win in 2020.

In 2016, Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win a majority of votes in Michigan since the election of George H.W. Bush in 1988.

Cox stressed the importance of Michigan’s votes in her speech to the MRP.

“We’re really excited,” Cox said. “The president’s really excited. Michigan is his pathway to victory. We want to make sure we deliver here in Michigan.”

Dylan Berger, LSA sophomore and president of the University’s chapter of College Republicans, attended the convention in Lansing and said he has faith that Cox will succeed in her new role.

“It was an honor for me to support Laura Cox at state convention,” Berger said. “Chairwoman Cox is preeminently qualified, hard working and always concerned about her constituents above all else. I’m confident that with her at the helm, the Michigan Republican Party will reach new heights.”

Weiser replaced Ronna McDaniel, current Republican national committee chairwoman, as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party in 2017. From 2001 to 2005, under former President George W. Bush, Weiser served as the U.S. ambassador to the Slovak Republic. Since 2016, he has served on the University Board of Regents and also led the Republican National Committee fundraising efforts for Trump.

In his speech, Weiser teared up as he thanked his party and asked for their support.

“I ask you for your prayers as I fight the prostate cancer that has invaded me,” Weiser said. “Thank you for your advocacy, your passion. Keep fighting. I’ll be right there fighting with you.”

Berger said even though Weiser will no longer serve as chairman for the Michigan GOP, his work continues to impact the party’s leadership.

“It’s difficult to put Ron Weiser’s contributions to words,” Berger said. “He’s been so incredibly generous with both his time and resources. It’s impossible to imagine our party without him. I know he will continue to play an important role for years to come.”


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