Two candidates for state office, both Republicans, encouraged supporters to interfere with election processes, and come armed to polling places, in a recent joint appearance in Livingston County.
Ryan D. Kelley, who is running for governor, told an audience at a Moms for Liberty meet-and-greet that he wants more Republicans working at election hubs like the former TCF Center, and added: "If you see something you don't like happening with the machines, unplug it from the wall." State Senate candidate Mike Detmer went further, advising the audience to be prepared to "lock and load ... So you ask, 'what can we do?' Show up armed. ... Make sure that justice prevails."
Both acts are illegal, tweeted Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. State Sen. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor, calls the suggestions "perilously dangerous" in a weekend tweet.
Kelley and Detmer both claim to be endorsed by former President Trump and have the usual far-right bona fides.
Kelley was in the crowd in Washington D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, but claims to have left "once things started getting crazy." Detmer ran for the GOP nomination in the 8th Congressional district in 2020, but withdrew before the general election. He was active in the anti-lockdown movement in early 2020, and posted a photo of himself with members of the Proud Boys at one protest in Howell. Now he's running for the District 22 seat in the Michigan Senate.
A clip of the statements was tweeted and went viral among Democratic and progressive accounts. You can see it below:
Candidate for MI governor Ryan D. Kelley tells prospective poll workers to unplug tabulation machines if they suspect fraud in the 2022 election. State senate candidate Mike Detmer takes it a step further: “We need to be prepared to lock & load,” he says. “Show up armed.” pic.twitter.com/rLsmUcUR0q— Left of Center MI (@leftofcentermi) January 30, 2022