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MI Supreme Court rejects GOP governor candidate requests to put them on primary ballot

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James Craig, Michael Markey, and Perry Johnson won’t appear on the August Republican primary ballot in the race for governor. That's under orders released Friday by the Michigan Supreme Court that rejected last-ditch attempts by the hopefuls to make the ballot despite the fact their campaigns fell short of the number of signatures required to make the ballot.

The court made no ruling in a case filed by Donna Brandenberg, which also leaves her name off the ballot.

The decisions come just in time to allow local clerks to meet the state’s deadline for getting primary ballots printed. The Supreme Court’s actions leave Tudor Dixon, Ryan Kelley, Kevin Rinke, Ryan Rebandt and Garrett Soldano on the GOP gubernatorial primary ballot. The winner will face Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in November.

The shortfalls are largely related to alleged signature fraud by paid petition circulators. The Michigan Bureau of Elections determined 36 professional circulators forged roughly 68,000 signatures.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office has launched a criminal investigation.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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