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Michigan GOP co-chair under fire for homophobic tweet about Pete Buttigieg

Election 2022 Fresh Voices
Posted at 12:31 PM, Sep 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-13 12:31:59-04

DETROIT — Michigan Republican Party co-chair Meshawn Maddock is under fire after sending out a homophobic tweet about U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

On Sunday, Maddock called Buttigieg, who is gay, a "weak little girl" and referenced his move to Michigan.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, recently moved to Traverse City with his husband, Chasten, who grew up there.

Buttigieg also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for eight years and was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months in 2014.

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Maddock's tweet was in reference to California's ban on new gas cars starting in 2035.

"We’re so blessed this weak little girl moved to Michigan! Looks like he’s bringing all his California Dreaming here with him," Maddock wrote.

Democrats blasted Maddock for her tweet, with State Rep. Samantha Steckloff, from Farmington Hills, tweeting in part, "The @migop chair chose today to raise homophobic and bigoted attacks against Michiganders...the bigotry, homophobia, and antisemitism is so ramped in their chosen leaders."

We reached out to the Michigan Republican Party for a statement on the tweet, but they declined to comment.

This isn't the first time Maddock has come under fire for a tweet.

In January, she called Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist a "scary masked man" when he tweeted a video after testing positive for COVID-19.

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes released a statement at the time saying in part, "Is it still accurate to call something a dog whistle as it’s actively shattering your eardrums? Meshawn Maddock’s racism was on full display with this horrendous comment about Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist, and it adds to the already miles-long list of her actions that the MIGOP and Republican elected officials and candidates continue to endorse with their silence."

According to The Detroit News, Maddock said she called him scary because children were going "to be scared by government agents forcing mandates on them that make it harder for them to learn."

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist reacts to Meshawn Maddock tweet

Also, in January, Maddock claimed President Donald Trump's campaign encouraged efforts to give him the state's electoral votes, according to audio obtained from CNN.

The 16 people in December of 2020, including Maddock, tried to enter the State Capitol and pose as official electors to certify the election for Trump.

They signed documents and sent them to Washington to try to sway the certification.

"We fought to seat the electors. Um, the Trump campaign asked us to do that. Under a lot of scrutiny for that today," Maddock said.

They were turned away at the door by state police.

President Joe Biden was certified in Michigan after winning the election by 154,000 votes.

Max White at WXYZ first reported this story.