LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The lawyer for the James Craig campaign for governor conceded that there was a potential effort by petition circulators to “defraud” the campaign.
Despite this, the lawyer still thinks enough valid signatures were turned in to put Craig on the ballot in August.
Former state Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer alleges that when Craig turned in 21,736 petition signatures and he needed 15,000 to get on the ballot, almost 7,000 of those names were fraudulent and therefore Craig’s name should not be on the statewide ballot, thus ending his bid for governor.
However, three days later, Craig’s lawyer filed a rebuttal with the state, suggesting there may have been some forgeries but not enough to end Craig’s campaign.
“Despite the potential effort of groups of circulators to defraud the campaign, it is our belief that the petition remains valid. The circulators did not write in a sufficient number of false signatures to erase the comfortable cushion” of extra names,” Craig’s lawyer said.
The attorney reports that 490 of the signatures that Brewer challenged out of the almost 7,000 were legal signatures and therefore Craig should be on the ballot.
The former state Democratic party chair is confident he’s got proof to knock two GOP candidates off the ballot.
“I filed 200 pages of forgeries with the state two weeks ago. That is more than enough to knock off Craig and Johnson,” said Brewer.
Brewer is referring to another GOP candidate for governor, Perry Johnson. Another lawyer is challenging the signatures submitted by the Johnson campaign alleging he did not file enough legal names either.
Johnson’s attorney asserts that the allegation “fails to point to a single fraudulent signature filed by the six circulators… speculation is not enough to invalidate signatures.”
Campaign strategist John Yob dismisses all this as a “partisan and cynical attempt” to stop Johnson’s bid.
The state board of canvassers will huddle on May 26 to determine if the charges of fraud are true and the two Republicans and two Democrats will thus decide the political fate of Craig and Johnson.