Michigan GOP front-runner James Craig admits campaign dealing with forged signatures

Multiple campaigns that used the same paid signature gatherers appear to have the same petition problems, starting with forged signatures. The incident is a problem that may force the top polling GOP candidate off the ballot for the midterm elections.

DETROIT – Several campaigns that used the same paid signature gatherers for petitions to become candidates in Michigan’s primary gubernatorial election appear to have the same petition problems, starting with forged signatures.

The petition problems, and those challenging them, could force the top polling GOP candidate off the ballot for the state’s midterm elections.

“If anybody did that, they need to be charged,” said former Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Craig isn’t the only candidate facing a challenge to his petitions, but he is the only one being challenged by both Democrats and and a Super PAC supporting another Republican candidate, Tudor Dixon.

Craig told Local 4 News that he’s been on the phone with both Axiom and Vanguard, the firms used to gather signatures.

“The company we hired, I have every confidence they’re doing it right, and the people who are investigating, I feel comfortable with them,” Craig said.

It is campaign 101 to have opponents comb through a candidate’s petitions hoping to find problems that will get them kicked off the ballot. It’s the easiest way to do away with a rival.

In this case, the top three polling GOP gubernatorial hopefuls face petition challenges: Perry Johnson and Craig for signatures, and Dixon for the language used in the header of her petition.

More: Details: Why petitions for 3 Michigan GOP governor candidates are being challenged

If the State Board of Canvassers throws them all off, it would be nothing short of an epic disaster for Republicans in what is predicted to be a very strong midterm for the GOP nationally.

The Bureau of Elections will go over all the petitions and will submit reports to the State Board of Canvassers to be acted on at a May 26 meeting.

Craig, for his part, believes he will make the ballot. He says the challenges don’t surprise him simply because he’s consistently polled at the top of the GOP field.

“I expected it, and I’m their focus, so bring it on,” Craig said.


Related: 10 Republicans file petitions to run for Michigan governor


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.