DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Michigan election officials won’t appeal a decision that puts Detroit Congressman John Conyers on the August primary ballot.
The office of Secretary of State released a brief statement Friday, a week after a federal judge said a Michigan law on nominating petitions is similar to an Ohio law that was found unconstitutional in 2008.
Michigan Department of State spokesman Fred Woodhams said the decision not to appeal was “based on the facts of the judge’s order.”
Conyers, a Democrat, had enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. But many were spoiled because of problems with some people who collected them. They weren’t registered to vote or had listed a wrong registration address on the petitions. Wayne County Clerk’s Office staffers ruled that only 600 signatures were valid.
State and local election officials then followed the law and disqualified Conyers before Judge Matthew Leitman intervened.
“The state’s decision not to pursue this is a victory for the people of the 13th District and the State of Michigan. It allows them to exercise their democratic rights in a fair and impartial matter,” said Conyers in a statement. “I’m glad that we can put this behind us, because it gives all of those who appreciate our political process an opportunity to focus on the issues that affect the people’s livelihood, the justice system and the promotion of peace in our time: in short, Jobs, Justice and Peace.”
Michigan State Senator and Conyers Campaign Manager, Bert Johnson added: “I’m glad that we have resolved this issue once and for all. It gives us an opportunity to place key issues before the public as we continue to move forward with an energetic, timely and relevant campaign. We’re thankful that the people of the 13th District, the State of Michigan and the nation have joined with us in this effort.”
Local Political consultant Steve Hood — who was hired by the Conyers camp to collect petition signatures — took the blame for the whole mess.
“I did not double-check my circulators. I made a mistake,” he told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas, earlier this month.
The 85-year-old Conyers has been in Congress since 1965. He’s seeking a 26th term after hanging onto his seat in 2012 with 82 percent of the vote.
TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.