Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan Supreme Court denies Brandenburg’s appeal to get on the ballot

By: - June 9, 2022 5:48 am

Donna Brandenburg and her attorney speak before the Board of State Canvassers, May 26, 2022 | Laina G. Stebbins

Another Republican gubernatorial candidate had an appeal denied by the Michigan Supreme Court.

The court on Wednesday declined to overturn a decision by the Board of State Canvassers that businesswoman Donna Brandenburg did not qualify to appear on the Aug. 2 Republican primary ballot.

Brandenberg was among five Republican candidates for governor who were tossed off of the ballot after the Bureau of Elections (BOE) released a report last month detailing an “unprecedented” number of fraudulent signatures on their petitions.

That ruling was then upheld when the Board of State Canvassers (BSC) deadlocked along party lines, prompting Brandenberg and several other candidates to turn to the courts for relief.

While there is no evidence the candidates were aware the petitions contained fraudulent signatures, state election officials say it is ultimately the candidates responsibility to make sure they have enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Brandenberg is just the latest GOP candidate that has failed to convince the courts to intervene. Self-described “quality guru” Perry Johnson, former Detroit police Chief James Craig and investment adviser Michael Markey also sued in state court to get on the ballot but were rejected last week.

On Monday, Johnson took his case to federal court, arguing that he would “suffer immediate and irreparable harm because defendants’ unconstitutional enforcement of the statutory signature requirements.” 

That case is pending.

Craig has said he’s exploring options to get back on the ballot.

There are currently five GOP hopefuls on the Aug. 2 ballot: Far-right activist Ryan Kelley, businessman Kevin Rinke, right-wing media personality Tudor Dixon, chiropractor Garrett Soldano and the Rev. Ralph Rebandt. 

The winner of the GOP primary will be up against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Nov. 8.

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.