A lawyer who helped bring a lawsuit challenging the validity of thousands of Detroit absentee ballots ahead of last fall’s election launched a campaign last week for the Republican nomination for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat.
Attorney Alexandria Taylor, 42, of Romulus last week called the upcoming Senate race “pivotal” and said she would bring “strong conservative/family values” to the race. She intends to focus on education, energy independence, securing the border, issues of national security and the shortage in law enforcement officers, she said.
“I do believe that we need unification. I do believe that politics has been so, so divided, and so I am coming in breathing a breath of fresh air,” Taylor told The Detroit News. “I want to offer something different to the state.”
Taylor is a former Democrat who left the party in 2019, saying she no longer identified with its values.
“I just felt like the direction the party was going in was not in alignment with my belief system. What I mean by that is specifically, I don’t believe in like the transgender for kids, like them being able to make those decisions,” Taylor said. “Just as the direction of the party seem to go more progressive, I split off.”
Talyor is one of two new Republican candidates to enter the field, intending to seek the GOP nomination in the August 2024 primary.
Former Berrien County Commissioner Ezra Scott, a Republican, also declared a campaign last week. Scott of New Buffalo previously ran for U.S. House in the 5th District on the U.S. Taxpayers ticket and garnered 1% of the vote last year, losing to U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton.
Scott’s campaign website draws inspiration from Samuel Adams, a leader in the American Revolution: “America, it is 1776 all over again. We don’t have King George, but we do have an oppressive government that has become tyrannical and is stripping our God-given rights under our precious Constitution and Bill of Rights. It can be done again!”
Other Republicans who have declared in the GOP primary for Senate in Michigan are State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder of Dexter and Michael Hoover of Laingsburg, formerly of Dow Chemical Co.
Taylor, who is African American, said she didn’t like how Democrats handle issues of race in politics, saying there’s race baiting and “deception” within the Black community.
“I don’t feel that they necessarily are truly for Black people,” Taylor said. “I feel that race has been elevated above righteousness and that runs contrary to my beliefs. And so I don’t want to run on a race-type platform.”
Before she left the Democratic Party, she unsuccessfully ran for a suburban Wayne County seat in the state House in 2018, coming in second in the Democratic primary to Alex Garza, who went on to win the general election. Taylor served briefly on the executive committee of the 13th Congressional Democratic Party and, in 2020, she ran for judge on the 34th District Court, losing to Lisa Martin 47%-53%.
Last year, she volunteered on the campaign of then-GOP Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo, who lost her bid for statewide office but now heads the Michigan Republican Party. She also served as co-counsel on the Karamo’s lawsuit that initially sought to require Detroiters to vote at the polls on Election Day or obtain an absentee ballot in person.
Attorneys for the City of Detroit at the time called the lawsuit a racist attempt to disenfranchise voters in the majority-Black city and an effort that would also block overseas military members’ votes from counting in the election.
Taylor at a November hearing in the case targeted Detroit’s election processes — which are similar to those used in jurisdictions across the state — as part of the “corruption” in the city’s vote-counting process. She also rescinded the request to require Detroiters to vote at the polls, instead seeking the court to impose new signature verification and other rules on the city.
Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Kenny ultimately denied that request and tossed the complaint, ruling that the claims advanced in the lawsuit were “unsubstantiated and/or misinterpret Michigan election law” and a “false flag” that sought to “demonize” Detroit election workers.
Kenny also said the plaintiffs’ request to have Detroiters vote in person or obtain an absentee ballot in person is a “clear violation” of constitutional rights to vote absentee in person or by mail and would have likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters.
Taylor said she objected to the “narrative” that the lawsuit was racist.
“We were not the first ones to say this. Like, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist when he ran against (Detroit City Clerk) Janice Winfrey, he was literally saying the same thing we’re saying,” Taylor said.
“There seems to be an inherent problem with the way the absentee ballots are processed, and some of these procedures and processes that are being used that are contrary to the statute. So that’s all we were saying.”
Taylor said she is an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a managing partner at Taylor Soka Law Firm. She formerly was an assistant city attorney for Allen Park and Woodhaven.
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