LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s elections bureau said late Monday that five Republican candidates for governor, including two leading contenders, failed to file enough valid nominating signatures and should not qualify for the August primary.
The reports issued by staff were a major blow to former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who has led in polling, and businessman Perry Johnson, who has spent millions of his own money to campaign. Democrats had challenged their petitions, alleging forgery, duplicates and other issues. Another GOP candidate, Tudor Dixon, also had contested Craig’s signatures.
The bipartisan Board of State Canvassers will meet Thursday to consider the elections bureau’s recommendations. Republican candidates could end up going to court if they do not make the ballot.
Bureau staff also determined that three other lesser-known GOP candidates — Michael Brown, Donna Brandenburg and Michael Markey — did not turn in enough valid signatures.
If the canvassers agree with the findings, the 10-person field would be cut in half to five.