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Michigan Supreme Court rejects appeals by 3 GOP candidates for governor, makes no ruling on a fourth

courtesy campaign websites
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled against three GOP gubernatorial candidates in their effort to be listed on their party's primary ballot. It has made no ruling in a fourth case.

The Michigan Supreme said “no” Friday to three Republicans’ last-ditch requests to get their names on the August gubernatorial primary ballot. It has not issued a ruling on an appeal by a fourth candidate.

This means James Craig, Perry Johnson, and Michael Markey are off the ballot. If the court does not rule on the appeal filed by Donna Brandenburg, she will also be absent from the GOP primary ballot.

The state Supreme Court upheld lower courts that said Craig, Johnson, and Markey failed to gather enough valid petition signatures — much of that due to what appears to be fraud by paid petition circulators. The rulings were 6-1 against hearing the appeals.

There is a criminal investigation underway, but that’s not going to get the candidates on the primary ballot.

In the order for Perry Johnson, Chief Justice Bridget McCormack wrote, "I concur with denying leave to appeal because there is nothing here meriting our further time or attention. The plaintiff’s mandamus action plainly lacks merit because he cannot show that the Board of State Canvassers had a clear legal duty to certify his name to the ballot."

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

Michael Brown was also disqualified over insufficient valid petition signatures, but he withdrew from the race without filing a court appeals.

The Supreme Court decision leaves only 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.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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