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DePerno announces Michigan Supreme Court run amid election related criminal charges

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DePerno announces Michigan Supreme Court run amid election related criminal charges

Jun 13, 2024 | 1:58 pm ET
By Anna Liz Nichols
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DePerno announces Michigan Supreme Court run amid election related criminal charges
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Republican nominee for Michigan attorney general Matthew DePerno campaigns in Lansing on Aug. 27, 2022. (Andrew Roth | Michigan Advance)

Matt DePerno, a Republican lawyer who ran for Michigan Attorney General in 2022 with the support of former President Donald Trump, is running for the state’s supreme court while facing charges for reportedly tampering with voting machines after the 2020 presidential election. 

Michigan’s 4-3 Democratic majority state supreme court is falling short of doing its duty, Deperno said in an emailed statement to Michigan Advance.

“After watching the abuse of our legal system both here in Michigan, as well as across the country, it is clear that the Michigan Supreme Court needs members that are committed to following the constitution and rule of law,” DePerno said. “Activist judges, prosecutors, and attorney generals are using their power to prosecute their political enemies. This has to stop.  And that is why I am running for Supreme Court.”

DePerno, a Kalamazoo lawyer, has garnered favor from Trump in the past, not just in his 2022 run for state attorney general, but again securing an endorsement in 2023 for chair of the state’s Republican party.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel won reelection against DePerno and former Michigan Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo secured the chairmanship, losing the position amid infighting within the state party to current Chair Pete Hoekstra.

A vocal supporter of Trump’s disproven claims that the 2020 presidential election was full of fraud and Trump was the rightful winner, DePerno built a campaign for attorney general largely on the subject of election security. A focus area for DePerno was Antrim County, where he filed a lawsuit to try and audit the election after the GOP dominated county temporarily and incorrectly reflected a Biden victory in unofficial election results due to human error, but was promptly corrected. 

DePerno was charged last year in an investigation into the tampering of election equipment following the 2020 election. The prosecution asserts that DePerno orchestrated efforts to obtain and test voting machines in 2021 alongside others who were charged. DePerno is fighting against the charges.

Two seats on the state supreme court are up for grabs this November as Republican Justice David Viviano announced his retirement in March and Democrat Justice Kyra Harris Bolden is up for re-election.

DePerno is running for the four-year seat in the state supreme court as former Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, a Democrat, retired part way into her 8-year term in 2022. She was replaced by Bolden, a gubernatorial appointment.