Tudor Dixon, the Muskegon County woman who won the Republican nomination for governor Tuesday, remains a relative unknown in Michigan.
Dixon, who was endorsed Friday by former President Donald Trump, will be seeking to increase her profile sharply as she faces off against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the November election.
Who is Tudor Dixon?
Dixon, 45, of Norton Shores, has worked in the steel industry and in media, including appearances in horror movies between 2008 and 2012 and a stint as a conservative commentator on cable TV’s “Real America’s Voice.”
Born and raised in Illinois, Dixon got a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Kentucky before moving to Michigan in 2002, after her father, Vaughn Makary, who died recently, purchased the West Michigan Steel foundry in Muskegon in a bankruptcy sale and began to operate it as Michigan Steel.
She says she worked for the foundry — starting in customer service and ending in sales, with time in-between on the shop floor — until 2009, when she left to start a family with her husband, Aaron, who works as a controller for a manufacturing company. After about seven years at home, Dixon also handled Michigan sales for Chicago-based Finkl Steel for less than two years.
Dixon is a mother of four school-age children who has survived breast cancer.
How did Tudor Dixon get into politics?
Dixon said she was drawn into politics through her work in media, after leaving the steel industry.
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A company co-owned by Dixon was a producer of the 2018 film “Dummycrats.” The “documentary” attack on the former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and longtime California congresswoman Maxine Waters, also a Democrat, featured Black conservative political activist sisters “Diamond and Silk.” The film was written and directed by Kyle Olson, who operated a conservative website called “The American Mirror,” is a longtime Dixon friend and adviser, and put together Dixon campaign videos attacking Whitmer.
Did the pandemic also drive Tudor Dixon’s politics?
Yes. Dixon says the election is “personal” for her, both due to school closures affecting her children and her grandmother’s death in a Norton Shores nursing home during the pandemic.
Dixon said her grandmother died from “failure to thrive” because Dixon and other relatives were prohibited from visiting her under state pandemic policies, even though they were vaccinated.
Where does Tudor Dixon stand on other issues?
Dixon opposes abortion rights, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
On education, Dixon believes Michigan’s per-pupil grant should follow the student, including to schools, which would require a private constitutional amendment. She was alone among the five Republican gubernatorial candidates in not calling for big cuts to higher education spending.
Early in the campaign, Dixon said changes in election practices in Michigan created the potential for fraud, but did not say fraud affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential vote. Later, she said she believes Trump was the rightful winner of the presidential election, although as recently as Sunday she deflected that question.
Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4. Read more on Michigan politics and sign up for our elections newsletter.
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