Tuesday, September 27, 2022

GOP candidate for governor of Michigan loses crucial ballot rule

DETROIT ( Associated Press) — A Republican candidate for Michigan governor lost the Aug. 2 primary in the first significant court ruling Wednesday after election officials found campaign petitions filled with fraudulent signatures.

The ruling affects Perry Johnson, a wealthy businessman who is considered a prime candidate for the GOP nomination. But the decision could also apply to three other candidates, including former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who also scratched off the GOP ballot.,

Separate legal challenges were pending.

There does not appear to be any dispute that the fraudulent signatures were done by the paid circulators, although there is no evidence that the candidates were aware of the scam.

He was declared ineligible last week, the result of a tie vote by the state’s canvassers board. State election officials said Johnson, Craig, Michael Markey and Donna Brandenburg did not meet the 15,000-signature limit because of forged signatures.

Johnson asked the appeals court to dismiss the campaigners and put them on the ballot. He said that if the State Election Bureau would scrutinize each petition line by line, they would meet the signature limit.

The appeals court, in a 3-0 opinion, said “the Board had an explicit legal duty to investigate … but it did not have an explicit legal duty to compare each fictitious signature against the eligible voter file.”

Five other Republican candidates landed in one ballot spot, including Tudor Dixon, a former conservative TV news host who has the support of Betsy DeVos, who headed the US Department of Education during the Trump administration.

The winner will face Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the fall.

Nation World News Desk
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