The May Regents meeting assembles May 19. Sarah Boeke/Daily. Buy this photo.

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Republican delegates representing every Michigan county met in Lansing Saturday to nominate their party’s candidates for the University of Michigan Board of Regents, among other statewide positions. Lena Epstein and Sevag Vartanian were nominated as candidates for the Board of Regents following the convention.

Both candidates were endorsed prior to Saturday’s nomination by the Michigan Republican Party during an April convention where Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s former attorney, personally endorsed Epstein. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, Ron Weiser, current regent and chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, was booed by “hundreds”  During the April endorsement, Epstein called Weiser a “crook” and stated that she was calling for his “immediate resignation” in front of the audience.

Epstein is the co-owner of Vesco Oil Corporation in Southfield, Mich. and served as the Michigan chair for the Trump Campaign in 2016. Vartanian currently runs Vartanian Capital Management, an asset management firm in Novi, Mich. 

Epstein faced allegations of domestic abuse following a September 2021 incident in which she was arrested at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend in front of her young child while under the influence of alcohol. The arrest came to light last month when Epstein’s ex-husband’s lawyer stated during their divorce proceedings that Epstein’s “behavior over the past year has been questionable and erratic.” No criminal charges were brought against Epstein due to the incident. 

In an interview with Bridge Michigan, Epstein called the allegations “fake news” and offered to provide a reporter with some “real tangible gossip” that “doesn’t involve (Epstein).”

Epstein and Vartanian will run against Democratic incumbents Katherine White and Michael Behm in the November General Election. 

Daily Staff Reporter Isabella Kassa can be reached at ikassa@umich.edu