Michigan Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal From Republicans Banned From Ballot

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On deadline day for the Michigan secretary of state to finalize this year’s ballots, the Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal pleadings of James Craig, Perry Johnson, and Michael Markey. As a result, they will not appear on the Aug. 2 Republican gubernatorial primary ballot.

The state established June 3 as the deadline to certify candidates so there is ample time to send ballots to military and overseas voters.

State election officials on May 26 banned five of the 10 Republican candidates from the gubernatorial race after determining that candidates submitted petitions that contained fraudulent signatures.

Among the candidates disqualified by the Michigan Board of State Canvassers were Craig, a former Detroit police chief, and Johnson, a businessman. Craig held a comfortable lead in the polls, and Johnson was considered a serious contender.

Businesswoman Donna Brandenburg, financial adviser Michael Markey, and Michigan State Police Captain Richard Brown were also prevented from appearing on the ballot for not submitting at least 15,000 valid signatures from registered voters.

Five other Republicans running for governor—Garrett Soldano, Ryan Kelley, Tudor Dixon, Kevin Rinke, and Ralph Rebandt—were approved to appear on the ballot.

On June 2, a day after their requests to be included in the GOP gubernatorial candidate field were rejected by the Michigan Court of Appeals, Brandenburg, Johnson, and Markey asked the Michigan Supreme Court to rule that their names be added to the ballots or extend the deadline to certify the ballots.

Craig lost his appeal to the Michigan Court of Claims on June 2 and took his case to the Michigan Supreme Court, too.

Upon initially learning he was disqualified, Brown withdrew from the race.

Brandenburg has not received a ruling on her argument. Court spokesperson John Nevin told MLive.com that a decision was not expected on June 3.

The Supreme Court represented each candidate’s final hope to get on the ballot. They can still run as write-in candidates.

The Path to June 3

Michigan gubernatorial candidates are required to submit 15,000 valid signatures from registered voters by April 19 to appear on the August primary ballot.

By Jeff Louderback

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