Deadline Detroit | Selweski: Mellissa Carone turns overnight stardom into a drive to win a seat, any seat


Rudy Giuliani and Melissa Carone

Every election season, we see first-time candidates — often political neophytes — looking for a potentially lucrative place to run for office.

They do not declare their candidacy in their home town or the community where they spent their last years. They make a choice based on the political territory where they think they have a chance of winning.

Mellissa Carone has established herself in 2022 as the ultimate headliner of neighborhood shopping.

Best known as Rudy Giuliani’s wacky witness at a 2020 legislative voter fraud hearing, a video of which has gone viral, Carone is running for state senate in Macomb County after listing seven separate residences in less than three years.

Before Carone, 35, became swept up in the political scene, she registered to vote at Allen Park in July 2019. At the time, she was facing criminal charges for mounting a harassment campaign against her boyfriend’s ex-wife, including sending the woman sex tapes of the couple. For the trial, she listed an address in Grosse Pointe Woods.

In October 2020, she transferred her voter registration to Dearborn Heights, shortly after serving 12 months probation for her conviction. Less than a month later, she was working at the TCF Center in Detroit on the vote counting process for the presidential election.

Her false claims about the “fraud” she said she saw at the center made her the butt of jokes by late-night TV comedians and the subject of a skit on “Saturday Night Live.” But she also became an instant icon in many Republican circles, speaking at “stop the steal” rallies in Lansing and Washington and at numerous GOP events.

Carone never voted for Trump

While basking in her new role as Donald Trump’s champion — doing interviews with Fox News and “Inside Edition” and inspiring the formation of a group called “Yoopers for Mellissa Carone” — Carone never revealed that she did not vote for Trump. Election records show she did not vote in the 2016 or 2020 presidential elections. The only time she voted was in the August 2020 state primary.

A political hopeful in search of accommodation (Photo: Facebook Live, March 2022)

Just two months after her appearances before House and Senate committees in Lansing and nearly two years before the 2020 election, Carone began her quest to convert her infamous profile into a political career, announcing that she will was presenting at the State House in a heavily Republican north. District of Oakland County.

While still registered to vote in Dearborn, dozens of miles away, she filed for the 46e district headquarters by listing an address at Lake Orion. His filing papers gave an address for his campaign committee which was a UPS store. To run for the seat, she had to live in the neighborhood, so she told Deadline Detroit that she was shopping.

“Know absolutely nothing about the elections”

Carone, who has used the name Mellissa Wright in the past, says she is a former model and computer scientist. Her lack of political knowledge showed when she filed for office, not realizing Michigan’s redistricting process was well underway, dramatically redrawing legislative districts and assigning new district numbers. She insisted on the 46e District would remain unchanged.

“It has been verified by many people,” she told the Huffington Post, without providing details. “The question is pretty silly.”

State Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., a Democrat, added a Facebook post: “Who wants to explain to Mellissa Carone that the 46th District, which she doesn’t live in, won’t exist after the redistricting? It’s almost as if she knows absolutely nothing about the elections.

Ultimately, the 46th District became a territory in the Jackson area, about 100 miles from Lake Orion.

Carone dropped plans to run in Oakland County and changed her focus in May 2021 to a district in northern Macomb County, indicating she lived in Memphis (the one in Michigan). Soon, she set her sights on St. Clair Shores, enrolling there in September 2021. It didn’t last long.

Nor is his next attempt to find a path to the campaign trail.

Frequent filer

Last month, Carone requested to report to State House in Macomb Township, stating his address as a condo near the edge of 60e district limit house. But on March 31, she was disqualified because she falsely claimed, in an affidavit, that she had no outstanding financial issues with the state Office of Elections. In fact, she owed more than $1,000 in punitive costs for skipping campaign finance reporting deadlines.

Carone vowed to take legal action to regain her ballot, but she was running out of time.

A day before last Tuesday’s state application deadline, she moved her registration to a small house surrounded by farms in Macomb Township. On the day of filing, she decided less than an hour before the 4 p.m. deadline to show up at the 11e Senate District, citing the condo as the address and another UPS store as the location of his campaign committee. About an hour later, she changed her voter registration for the condo.

Carone’s final choice, from a political point of view, was not the right one: The 11It’s a 52% Democratic district and she will run in the August primary against a Republican incumbent.

Yet nothing seems to faze Carone. It intends to make strengthening electoral integrity one of its priority issues for the upcoming campaign.

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