Craig, Johnson ruled ineligible for ballot in Michigan’s gubernatorial race over forged signatures

Final decision could come Thursday

The Michigan Bureau of Elections says five GOP candidates for governor are ineligible for the August ballot, including former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and Quality Guru Perry Johnson. We have never seen anything like this before, as it is an epic implosion that will likely be a cautionary tale in campaign textbooks moving forward.

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – The Michigan Bureau of Elections says five GOP candidates for governor are ineligible for the August ballot because of alleged forged signatures, including former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and Quality Guru Perry Johnson.

The alleged fraud includes paid signatures, forged signatures, and dead people on the petitions; for example, the bureau of elections says 18 people hired to collect signatures for Craig submitted 10,000 forged signatures of the 21,000 collected. So whose fault is it at the end of the day?

“So there’s campaign malfeasant’s on two fronts,” said Political Consultant Dennis Darnoi. “It’s the people who fraudulently turned in these signatures. But the campaign should of had a mechanism by which they are viewing and vetting these signatures before they are actually paying these people for them.”

Johnson’s campaign sent out a statement Monday night: “We strongly believe they are refusing to count thousands of signatures from legitimate voters who signed the petitions and look forward to winning this fight before the board and, if necessary, in the courts.”

The state board of canvassers will meet on Thursday to decide whether these candidates will make the ballot based on the Bureau of Elections investigation.

“Somebody should absolutely go to jail,” Darnoi said. “This was done intentionally, and it is a violation of law. There are fines that are set out, so yes, somebody should be punished for this.”

“Mara, I’m a fighter,” said Craig. “I’m not going to roll over and play dead. It’s not just about me, It’s really about fighting for the folks that believed in me.”

There are three other lesser-known GOP Gubernatorial hopefuls in the same boat.

More: Michigan bureau: 2 top GOP governor candidates short signatures due to fraud


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.