Donald Trump brings campaign to Michigan, prepares to get ‘Man of Decade’ award – Detroit News

Novi — Former President Donald Trump is set to return to Michigan Sunday as Oakland County Republicans plan to present him with a “Man of the Decade” award, but criminal probes and a slew of primary challengers are looming over the honoree’s head.

Trump will speak at the Oakland County GOP’s annual Lincoln Day dinner inside Novi’s Suburban Collection Showplace. His remarks are scheduled to begin at about 6:30 p.m. About 2,500 people are expected at Sunday’s event, according to the Oakland County GOP.

The event will mark the first time he’s visited Michigan since launching his third campaign for the White House late last year.

In 2024, Trump hopes to challenge President Joe Biden, the incumbent Democrat. However, a large field of GOP contenders has emerged, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

The Detroit News reported Friday most Michigan Republican lawmakers haven’t endorsed Trump’s third bid for the presidency. Only three have come out in support of Trump so far, according to an analysis of interviews and announcements that covered the positions of 61 of the 72 Republican lawmakers in the state Legislature.

Trump won Michigan in 2016 when he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton, by 10,704 votes or about two-tenths of a percentage point. But in 2020, he lost the state to Biden by 154,000 votes or about 3 percentage points.

Oakland County, where Trump is speaking Sunday, has become a stumbling block for the GOP, which used to consider the region a stronghold. Trump lost the county, Michigan’s second largest, to Biden by 14 percentage points in 2020.

The Oakland County GOP has said Sunday’s event is sold out and has described it as a celebration of Trump. Tickets cost $250 and up. The county party has said it plans to name Trump the “Man of the Decade” during the gathering.

For years, Trump has claimed that he once received Michigan’s “Man of the Year” award, but fact checkers have described the assertion as “dubious.”

Former U.S. Rep. Dave Trott, an Oakland County Republican, has suggested a possible back story to the origins of the “Man of the Year claim dates to 2013 when Trott organized the Oakland County GOP’s Lincoln Day dinner in Novi and invited Trump to speak.

Trump addressed a crowd of 2,300 to 2,400 at that event in 2013, speaking for about an hour.

Years later, Trott introduced himself again to Trump in March 2017 during a roundtable with automotive CEOs. At that point, Trump said he remembered Trott and, referring to the Lincoln Day dinner, talked about receiving the “Man of the Year” award in Michigan, according to the former congressman.

Trump’s appearance on Sunday comes 12 days after he pleaded not guilty to 37 federal charges that he mishandled classified documents. Separately, in April, he was arraigned on charges brought by New York prosecutors over allegations centering on hush money payments tied to sexual encounters.

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Staff Writer Melissa Nann Burke and the Associated Press contributed.

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