DETROIT (WWJ) – On Tuesday it was determined that longtime U.S. Rep. John Conyers did not turn in enough valid signatures to appear on the primary ballot.
Election officials discovered that two campaign workers were not registered voters when they circulated petitions for the congressman.
Conyers, 84, the longest serving member of Congress, told WWJ’s Stephanie Davis that he will challenge the ruling Wayne County Clerk Kathy Garret made on Tuesday.
Garret said in a statement, “It is a very unfortunate circumstance that an issue with a circulator of a petition would disqualify the signature of valid registered voter. However, I am bound by the current laws and statutes of the State of Michigan that set forth very specific and narrow instructions regarding candidate petitions and the authority of the County Clerk.”
Clerk’s office staffers determined that Conyers only collected 600 valid signatures — 400 short of the 1,000 required.
Conyers issued a statement that that there is clear Supreme Court and Federal Court precedent overturning such laws.
Conyers was first elected to Congress in 1964, after winning the Democratic by 108 votes, is the only African American in the Detroit delegation. Conyers’ campaign chair, Bert Johnson, said he’s confident that the Congressman will be on the ballot in August.
Conyers has three days to appeal the ruling to the Michigan Secretary of State.