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Federal judge says Perry Johnson won’t appear on GOP primary ballot

Johnson campaign website

A federal judge has denied gubernatorial hopeful Perry Johnson’s request to put his name on the Republican primary ballot.

Judge Mark Goldsmith of the Eastern Michigan US District Court said the self-described “quality guru” failed to meet any of the criteria to win a request to halt the printing of ballots until Johnson’s name could be added.

Goldsmith said Johnson would be unlikely to prevail if his lawsuit against the Michigan Bureau of Elections proceeded. Also, that it was up to Johnson to make sure his petition signature operation was in order.

“This request is especially reasonable for a candidate like Johnson who delegates the task of collecting nomination petitions to for-profit circulators of his choice,” wrote Goldsmith. “Defendants contend that Johnson likely could have avoided many of the errors on his petition had he exercised any of the recommended petition quality control practices.”

Goldsmith also said it would be unreasonable to order local clerks to miss this week’s deadline to get ballots to the printer as well and absentee ballots ready.

The Johnson campaign did not respond to an email request for comment and plans on possible next steps.

The Republican ballot process has been chaotic as multiple candidates have fallen victim to unscrupulous signature gatherers. Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig also failed to make the GOP primary ballot. After losing in state courts, Craig said he will make a longshot effort to win the Republican nomination via a write-in campaign.

Five Republicans have qualified to run in the primary.

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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