GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The campaign for Michigan governor is already starting to heat up and in some unusual ways, including challenges to signatures that some Republican candidates submitted last week.
On Tuesday a Political Action Committee with ties to Tudor Dixon challenged a significant number of signatures of fellow Republican James Craig. If that challenge stands, it would appear to be enough to take the Craig campaign below the 15,000 mark required to stay on the ballot.
Democrats meanwhile challenged petitions signatures of Craig, Dixon and Perry Johnson.
Attorney Steven Liedel said in an email exchange with News 8 that he believes all of Dixon’s petitions are invalid because, he says, they used an invalid date for the term of the office.
He also said he thinks that irregularities in Johnson’s petitions cold disqualify him.
He said the problems include the signatures of dead people.
“Researching, one initially the qualified voter file, which reveals a number of dead voters that had signed the petition, but then also public record data bases and eventually obituaries searches. We were able to discover that at least 66 persons who are legally dead, verifiably dead, somehow signed the petition,” Liedel said over Zoom. “That’s problematic in itself because obviously those petitions weren’t signed by those people.”
GOP candidate Johnson was campaigning in Grand Haven on Wednesday and said he thinks the signatures he turned in are solid.
“Obviously they are. Keep in mind they challenged what, 3,500, 3,700, which was irrelevant because we clearly had more than enough that was required,” Johnson told News 8. “After all their investigation and everything, they couldn’t find anywhere near the number that would remove us from the ballot, nor are they claiming that I’m not on the ballot.”
If any candidate is ultimately disqualified, it will take some time. According to the Secretary of State’s office, there won’t be any more information about the challenges until after the candidates review the accusation, which will likely be a few weeks.