Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox announced Wednesday she would not seek a second term, leaving former Michigan GOP Chair and University of Michigan Regent Ron Weiser as the presumed winner of the position. The elections are set to take place in February.

Weiser, one of two Republicans on the Board of Regents, was elected to the position in 2016 and previously served two terms as Michigan GOP chair before stepping down due to a cancer diagnosis in 2019.

Weiser is running alongside Meshawn Maddock, a GOP activist and founder of the Michigan Conservative Coalition who is now under fire for organizing buses transporting supporters of President Donald Trump involved in Wednesday’s insurrection at the Capitol Building. On Wednesday, Maddock tweeted a video of the rioters storming Capitol Hill, captioning it “the most incredible crowd and sea of people I’ve ever walked with.”

In a tweet Wednesday, Republican activist Dennis Lennox called on Maddock to resign her candidacy as a result of her involvement in the attempted insurrection.

“Meshawn Maddock needs to withdraw as the (unopposed) candidate for co-chairman of the Michigan Republican Party,” Lennox wrote. “If she doesn’t, the convention should suspend the rules and elect a candidate from the floor. Period.”

Cox previously announced she would run for a second term, while Weiser announced he would challenge. Cox, a supporter of Trump, co-wrote a letter to the Michigan Board of Canvassers in late November urging the board to halt certification of election results after Joe Biden’s win in the state.

Cox, who assumed the position in 2019 after serving on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners and as a state representative, announced the move in an email on Wednesday to Republican activists. 

“It is with mixed emotions that I write to let you know that I am not seeking re-election as party chair,” Cox wrote. “Over the Christmas holiday, I realized while this has been the best job of my life it is time to move on. But while I move on from the title, I will never move on from our party of principles we all fight for.” 

Early Wednesday, the same day two Georgia senate races were won by the Democratic candidates and while some Republican lawmakers were attempting to delay the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory, Cox urged Republicans to remain engaged and optimistic for the future. 

“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 said. “As long we Republican grassroots are steadfast and strong, and as long as we keep fighting for liberty, our Nation will triumph. Thank you and God Bless you.”

Weiser did not respond to The Daily’s request for comment on Cox’s announcement by the time of publication. 

Daily News Editor Emma Ruberg can be reached at eruberg@umich.edu

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the number of Republicans on the Board of Regents. Regents Ron Weiser and Sarah Hubbard are both Republicans. It has also been updated to reflect that Weiser is running as co-chair alongside GOP activist Meshawn Maddock.

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