Michigan Republican James Craig and two other GOP candidates for governor have lost court battles to get their names back on the ballot for the upcoming gubernatorial primary.
Half of incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) potential Republican challengers were ruled out of the race after Michigan’s publicity committee last week left in place a decision of the State Elections Office. In early May, the bureau said five of the ten Republican nominees for governor had not submitted enough valid petition signatures to qualify for the GOP primary.
Craig, who was believed to be the front-runner for the GOP nomination and had submitted more than 11,000 invalid signatures, had asked the Michigan Court of Claims to require the Publicity Committee to review his signatures on the nomination petition line by line to establish invalidity or fraud, WDIVTV reports. He claimed that the board is required by law to verify every petition signature against the Qualified Voter File, a database of registered voters in the state.
But the court rejected his claim. The court said the board “had no clear legal duty to compare all signatures on plaintiff’s nomination applications against the QVF” to determine their authenticity. Similar judgments were handed down in Challenges by businessman Perry Johnson and financial advisor Michael Markey.
Those decisions mean five lesser-known candidates, Garrett Soldano, Kevin Rinke, Ryan Kelley, Tudor Dixon and Ralph Rebandt, are the only candidates who will appear on the GOP ballot in August.
In response to the court’s ruling, Craig said he was “very disappointed” and announced his intention to appeal the case to the Michigan Supreme Court. He also told the Detroit News Last week that if his legal challenge is unsuccessful he may attempt to launch a write-in campaign for the GOP nomination.
“Rest assured, we will appeal this questionable decision to a higher court,” Craig said in a statement. “Our fight is not over yet.”
Johnson is also taking his case to the state Supreme Court.
A review by Michigan’s Bureau of Elections found that at least 68,000 invalid signatures were filed between the five GOP candidates. The bureau said it “is not aware of any other election cycle in which so many circulators have submitted such a substantial quantity of fraudulent petition sheets consisting of invalid signatures”.
Michigan state law requires that candidates for governor submit a minimum of 15,000 valid signatures and 100 from each congressional district to qualify for a party’s general election.
https://www.theblaze.com/news/michigan-gop-gubernatorial-candidates-lose-court-battles-to-get-back-on-the-ballot Michigan GOP gubernatorial nominees lose court battles to get back on the ballot