Ryan Kelley, a Republican, will be contesting the GOP primary for the position of Michigan governor. He is now considered to be a frontrunner, alongside challenger Tudor Nixon.

Kelley, who is in his 40s, was tied to the US Capitol riots of January 6, 2021, which are being currently investigated by the US House Select Committee. If successful in the Michigan primaries, he is likely to lock horns with Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer in the general elections.

The Capitol riots controversy

Ryan Kelley’s bid for Michigan governor hit a roadblock roughly a month before the elections. A suburban Detroit man sued Thursday to try to disqualify Republican Ryan Kelley from the Michigan governor’s race, saying he should be declared an insurrectionist whose votes would not count.

Kelley faces misdemeanor charges for his role in the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The lawsuit says the western Michigan man’s participation makes him ineligible for office under the US Constitution.  

“Claims of insurrection are laughable. … Yes, I am on the ballot on August 2. Yes, I will be on the ballot November 8,” said Kelley, predicting victory.

Who is Ryan Kelley?

Ryan Kelley, who now resides in Allendale, has been a resident of Michigan for more than three decades. He lives there with his wife and five children.

According to his campaign website, Kelley attended Jenison High School and graduated in 1999. He later went on to pursue Electronics Engineering from the Grand Rapids Community College. After working for communications giant AT&T for nearly eight years, Kelley started his own real estate investment firm, which he still owns. 

Even before he started his political journey, Ryan Kelley was a staunch challenger to Michigan’s COVID-19 norms. Building on the large rallies he organised through the lockdown era, Kelley vowed to reverse all state pandemic protocols currently in place. Kelley says he strongly supports former US President Donald Trump.