A man who was arrested by the FBI for his involvement in the attempted insurrection at the U.S. capitol on Jan. 6 to keep President Donald Trump in power is now refusing to concede to the Trump-endorsed candidate in Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial primary.
Ryan Kelley, a real estate broker who briefly surged in polls among Republican voters following his arrest in June, wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday morning that he is “NOT CONCEDING” to his rival, Tudor Dixon, a conservative commentator who earned the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.
The Michigan GOP declared Dixon the winner hours after polls closed in Tuesday’s primary.
“Let’s see the GOP and the predetermined winner call for a publicly supervised hand recount to uphold election integrity,” Kelley wrote.
Kelley’s post was a reference to a conspiracy theory stemming from a July 25 incident in which West Michigan TV station WWMT-TV published mock election results on its website.
According to the Michigan Secretary of State, the news station said it was running a test using sample data to make sure its systems were working properly ahead of election day.
But some conservatives, animated by Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud in the 2020 election that resulted in the Jan. 6 riot, have pointed to the incident as a sign of an allegedly rigged election.
“Online sites that regularly spread conspiracy theories, misinformation and other falsehoods have unsurprisingly seized on this as evidence of something nefarious when it is nothing more than human error by an organization that has nothing to do with election administration,” an FAQ on the SOS website reads.
According to The New York Times, with 95% of the votes counted, Dixon leads with 434,987 votes, or 40.6% of the vote.
Kelley trails in fourth place at 165,045 votes, or 15.4%.