Top GOP Gubernatorial Candidates in Michigan May Not Make the Ballot Because They Did Not Collect Enough Valid Petition Signatures; Thousands of Fraudulent Signatures Submitted by Petition Gatherers

Just wow from Detroit News:

Former Detroit police Chief James Craig and businessman Perry Johnson, two of the top candidates for the Republican nomination for governor, didn’t submit enough valid petition signatures to make the ballot, according to findings from the Michigan Bureau of Elections.

The bureau’s revelations Monday evening shake up the 2022 race to be Michigan’s governor, potentially leaving Republicans without their most well-known candidate, Craig, and without their wealthiest hopeful, Johnson.

In a staff report, the bureau said it had tracked 36 petition circulators “who submitted fraudulent petition sheets consisting entirely of invalid signatures.”

“In total, the bureau estimates that these circulators submitted at least 68,000 invalid signatures submitted across 10 sets of nominating petitions,” the report said. “In several instances, the number of invalid signatures submitted by these circulators was the reason a candidate had an insufficient number of valid signatures.”

The bureau found that Craig’s campaign had turned in 11,113 invalid signatures, including 9,879 signatures from “fraudulent petition circulators.” Only 10,192 of the 21,305 signatures Craig submitted were “facially valid,” leaving him short of the 15,000 signature threshold, according to the bureau.

Craig has been widely viewed as the frontrunner in the race for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November.

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