Congressional veteran John Conyers (D-MI) fails to qualify for primary ballot

Posted by: ST on May 14, 2014 at 8:19 am
Congressman John Conyers (D-MI)

Congressman John Conyers (D-MI)
Image via Getty Images.

An update to this story. Via The Hill:

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) won’t appear on the Democratic primary ballot after failing to submit enough valid signatures, Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett said on Tuesday.

“It is my determination that in accordance with the current laws and statutes of the State of Michigan, the nominating petitions filed by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. are insufficient to allow his name to appear on the August 5, 2014 Primary Ballot,” Garrett said in a statement. 

The decision means Conyers may have to run as a write-in candidate if he wants to keep a seat he’s held for five decades.

If Conyers wins reelection, the 84 year old civil rights leader and House Judiciary Committee ranking member would become the Dean of the House, having served longer than any other current member. His former boss, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), is retiring this year.

Conyers’s Democratic primary opponent, pastor Horace Sheffield III, challenged the validity of the incumbent’s signatures. The clerk ruled that since two of his petition-gatherers weren’t registered voters in Michigan, as required under state law, the signatures he obtained didn’t count.

Conyers submitted 2,000 signatures, needing 1,000 valid ones. After the challenges, he had 592.

Legal challenges to the petition-gathering rule are likely, though. The American Civil Liberties Union has already challenged that law in federal court, saying it’s unconstitutional to require signature-gatherers to be registered voters.

Michigan state Sen. Bert Johnson (D), Conyers’s campaign chairman, told the Detroit Newson Monday that the campaign will continue to prepare its own potential legal challenge and write-in campaign.

“If they should be victorious, it has great implications for our campaign, he said. “It’s always better to be on the ballot than be a write-in.”

The DCCC says they will stand by Conyers, no matter what happens as a result of his and the ACLU’s respective challenges to the law/ruling. My thought is even if he doesn’t get on the ballot officially, his write-in campaign would probably be successful.  Detroit voters have this unfortunate habit of continuing to vote the same people in office over and over again and expecting different results.

Stay tuned.

(Hat tip: Memeorandum)

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6 Responses to “Congressional veteran John Conyers (D-MI) fails to qualify for primary ballot”


  1. Carlos says:

    Yep, they’re just looking for the easy way.

    Do you realize how hard it is to write anyone’s name the thousands of necessary times if you happen to be a dead voter?

  2. Drew the Infidel says:

    Should anything adverse befall Conyers’ political aspirations be prepared for the predictable top-of-the-lungs screams of “racism”.

  3. TomTB says:

    This is the same guy who said that the Island of Guam would capsize if we deployed too many U.S. Marines there.
    Maybe there’s a proper time for his retirement?

  4. Phineas says:

    Conyers knew Michigan’s rules, or, at least, his staff should have known them. It’s not like this is his first race.The judge should throw any suit out of court under the “It’s your own stupid fault” rule.[-(

  5. Carlos says:

    But in Michigan, Phineas, the judge undoubtedly is as stupid as the candidate and his staff. Can’t count on anything there, except whoever is running things will continue to drive 100mph into the ground, and that if Conyers’ name is on the ballot he’ll be re-elected, probably even without the cemetery vote.

    Don’t know why, though. As I understand it, MI’s education system is so bad, especially in the inner cities, that most voters could not even be considered semi-literate…

  6. Sefton says:

    Tom – that was Hank Johnson.
    But in this case it’s pretty much a “cut from the same cloth” difference.