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Roy Schmidt party switch prompts Dems to call for perjury investigation

Schmidt, Roy
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Rep. Schmidt at a rally against Governor Rick Snyder's budget cuts to education funding in June of 2011. He's now switched to the GOP.

Democrats in Kent County are asking for an investigation after a state representative switched political parties this week.

Longtime Democrat Roy Schmidt from Grand Rapids switched parties to run as a Republican Tuesday.

22-year old Matt Mojzak filed to run in the district which includes Grand Rapids. The Secretary of State’s office says Mojzak changed his address from one in neighboring Ottawa County to one within the district just this week. But the affidavit says Mojzak had lived at the Kent County address for 22 years.

Third congressional district Democratic Party chair Elizabeth Lykins says the new address is not where Mojzak lives. He withdrew from the race Thursday.

“We still feel that perjury happened and I think there’s probably a lot more to this story and that’s why we’re asking for the investigation.

Mojzak filed to run as a Democrat in the district Schmidt represents. The Kent county Clerk’s office says same unknown “young man” filed both Schmidt’s and Mojaz’s paperwork just minutes before the filing deadline.

Lykins and others sent the letter calling for a perjury investigation to the Kent County Clerk and Prosecutor’s office. Letters also went to the Michigan Attorney General and the Secretary of State’s office.

Officials with the Secretary of State say because the district is in a single county they do not have jurisdiction. The Attorney General’s Office declined to say whether or not it would open a case.

The Kent County Clerk says they don’t have investigative powers. The Kent County Prosecutor has not returned requests for comment yet.

Lindsey Smith is Michigan Radio’s investigative reporter. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor and West Michigan Reporter.
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