JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — A Jackson attorney and district judge has filed a lawsuit against Michigan officials for disqualifying his candidacy for alleged petition errors.
According to the Jackson Citizen Patriot, the lawsuit was filed on May 27.
George Lyons is hoping to be an elected judge in Jackson County’s 12th District Court.
Lyons is one of 19 candidates that was disqualified from the ballot by the Michigan Board of Canvassers on May 26, saying each candidate had petition errors.
The lawsuit named the Michigan Board of Canvassers, Jonathan Brater and Jocelyn Benson as the defendants, saying that the State Board of Canvassers erred legally in its interpretation of election law.
Attorneys representing Lyons say the state’s error turned into improper discrimination after previously ruling the opposite for a white candidate.
On April 18, Lyons filed petitions with 739 signatures supporting his bid for the judge seat.
A complaint was later filed with the Bureau of Elections, saying that 189 of the signatures on Lyons’ petition were invalid. The complaint challenged 138 of the signatures.
The lawsuit makes additional claims that state officers gave an inconsistent number of signatures it recommended invalidating in a later review, with officials rejecting 62 and 80 of Lyons’ signatures due to alleged heading errors.
The lawsuit asks the court to issue a writ of mandamus declaring that state officers erred in excluding the 62 to 80 signatures, and directs officials by Friday, June 3, to certify Lyons’ eligibility to appear on the ballot.
A ruling from the court of appeals is still pending as of Thursday.
Currently, Robert Gaecke Jr. and attorney Craig Pappin are the only two candidates certified by the state to appear on the ballot.