Last week, the Michigan Secretary of State rejected retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Matt Morgan’s (D) ballot petition to challenge freshman Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet/Upper Peninsula) because he used a P.O. Box instead of a street address to register his campaign. Michigan law requires a street address. Yesterday, the state Appeals Court upheld the lower court decision that the administrative ruling is correct, and Mr. Morgan remains disqualified. The retired military officer responded by saying he would not offer any further legal challenges, but would instead run a write-in campaign for the Democratic nomination. Considering no other Democrat filed for the race, Mr. Morgan’s chances of winning a write-in nomination are extremely high.
Two weeks ago, John Conyers III, son of resigned Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit), was disqualified from the regular election ballot to succeed his father in the House because he failed to submit 1,000 valid registered voter petition signatures. Yesterday, it was reported that Mr. Conyers’ legal challenge to the administrative ruling was denied meaning that he will not be a candidate in the November election. Nine Democrats are on the ballot for the full term including Mr. Conyers cousin, state Sen. Ian Conyers (D-Detroit).
The Democrats will hold the seat, and the crowded Dem primary results will determine who succeeds the former Dean of the US House. John Conyers was first elected in 1964 and served until the end of last year when he resigned from office.
The Michigan Secretary of State has ruled that several congressional candidates failed to meet ballot qualification requirements and are, at least for the moment, denied ballot position for the state’s August 7th primary election.
In the 1st District, which will prove to be the most controversial situation, Democrat Mike Morgan, a retired Marine Corps Lt. Colonel, is disqualified because he did not list a street address on his candidate application. Michigan law specifically prohibits post office boxes being used as an official candidate address. Mr. Morgan says he will fight the ruling in court. He is the lone Democrat who filed for the race. If the Secretary of State’s ruling stands, freshman Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet/ Upper Peninsula) will be unopposed for re-election.
Against Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) in the 6th District, two-time Democratic nominee Paul Clements was surprisingly disqualified for not submitting enough nomination petition signatures. The same is true for Quality Control analyst Eponine Garrod (D).
Turning to the open 11th District (Rep. David Trott-R; retiring), two candidates, a Democrat and a Republican, were disqualified for lack of submitting enough valid nominating petition signatures. For the Republicans, minor candidate Kristine Bonds is denied a ballot position. In the Democratic primary, businessman Dan Haberman, who raised almost $300,000, is now off the ballot. The disqualifications are not expected to fundamentally change either party’s nomination outcome.
We have seen a number of candidates fail to qualify for the ballot around the country this year, and John Conyers III, seeking to replace his father, resigned Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit), may be the next to fall short in the signature gathering process. According to authorities at the Wayne County Elections Division, Mr. Conyers has only 880 valid nominating petition signatures from the 1,914 submitted. All candidates must submit 1,000 valid registered voter signatures from CD 13. County Clerk Cathy Garrett will make a final determination about Mr. Conyers’ ballot status later today.
The MI-13 special election is running concurrently with the general election cycle. The winner will serve the final two months of the current term along with the next full term assuming the same individual wins both the special and regular election that will be simultaneously conducted.
The Strategic National survey research organization (4/21; 350 MI likely GOP primary voters) tested the Senate Republican primary and found venture capitalist Sandy Pensler leading manufacturing business owner John James, 26-13%. With just over three months to go before this August 7th primary culminates, the race for the GOP nomination appears wide open. The winner will face Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), who is running for a fourth term.
The Glengariff Group, polling for the Greater Detroit Regional Chamber PAC (4/20-22; 400 MI likely Democratic primary voters; 4/19-21; 400 MI likely Republican primary voters) produced a surprising result. Though former state House Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer has gained the Democratic establishment’s support, businessman Shri Thanedar has grabbed the lead in the primary race according to the GG results. They find Mr. Thanedar’s margin to be 30-26%, the result of an early advertising campaign that has boosted his name identification to 75%. Thanedar is racking up large margins in the city of Detroit and Wayne County, which accounts for his early success.
On the Republican side, the results were more in line with conventional thought. There, Attorney General Bill Schuette leads Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, 36-23%.
Public Opinion Strategies, surveying for the Bill Schuette for Governor campaign (2/10-13; 800 MI previous Republican primary voters), finds the Attorney General in strong shape to capture the open GOP gubernatorial nomination. According to the results, Mr. Schuette leads Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, 42-15%, with state Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-East Lansing) tallying only 5% support. The Michigan primary isn’t until August 7th, so much time remains for change. Former state House Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer appears to be the leading Democratic candidate. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.
Investment advisor John Conyers III, son of resigned Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit), filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to become a candidate in the special election to replace his father. The special schedule will run concurrently with the regular election calendar. The younger Conyers named his new congressional committee, “Conyers to Conyers.” Also in the field of candidates is his cousin, state Sen. Ian Conyers (D-Detroit). The Democrats will hold the seat in November, but whether or not a Conyers carries the day still remains to be decided.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has issued the special election calendar to fill resigned Rep. John Conyers’ (D-Detroit) seat. The Governor’s decision means the seat will be vacant for virtually one year. The 13th District special election will run concurrently with the regular election schedule, meaning the primary will be August 7th, with the special and regular general elections occurring on the same date, November 6, 2018. State Sens. Ian Conyers (D-Detroit), the former Congressman’s nephew, and Coleman Young II (D-Detroit), son of former Mayor Coleman Young, are both announced candidates. The latter man is fresh from being destroyed in the 2017 Detroit Mayor’s race, losing to incumbent Mike Duggan, 72-27%.
Last week an erroneous report from the New York Daily News and others stated that the Dean of the US House, embattled Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit), had decided not to seek re-election next year. That story was quickly refuted, but yesterday the 53-year congressional veteran went a step further than simply not appearing on the 2018 ballot as he resigned the seat, effective immediately. This means that Gov. Rick Snyder (R) will call a special election to fill the new vacancy for sometime early next year.
In his resignation announcement, Rep. Conyers endorsed his son, John Conyers III, a partner in a hedge fund investment group, as his successor. Another Conyers relative, the Congressman’s nephew, state Sen. Ian Conyers (D-Detroit), also declared his own candidacy for the 13th District. The seat’s electorate, which voted 79% for Hillary Clinton and supported President Obama in 2012 with an 85.2 vote percentage, will remain in Democratic hands regardless if a Conyers family member or another future candidate secures the special election party nomination.
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