GOP gubernatorial candidate James Craig suggested Tuesday in response to a challenge over his petitions signatures that he was a victim of fraud and forgery committed by his political opponents.
The response, submitted to the Bureau of Elections comes after attorney Mark Brewer filed 200 pages of complaints over alleged illegal signatures and that impacts 7,000 of the 21,000 signatures he filed on April 18. If the Board of State Canvassers agrees with Brewer, Craig will have less than the 15,000 valid signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.
"We are confident the process will show we've met the requirement to be on the ballot and this was a malicious, coordinated attack on Chief Craig because both Democrats and Republican opponents are scared that he is already leading the races, " read a response from the Craig campaign. "We are full steam ahead."
But Brewer contends that Craig was not a victim at all.
"It's his job to supervise the people who work for him . . . If you want to be governor of Michigan you need to know how to organize and supervise and that means not allowing criminal conduct to occur in the course of the campaign."
And if the Craig camp suggests his political opponents are out to get him, Brewer counters, "No. What we are doing is enforcing the law which is something that a former police chief should understand more than anybody else. He's not above the law and if there are forged signatures, which there are by the thousands, he should pay the consequences just like any law breaker.
"It's a felony . . . the honorable thing for them to do would be to withdraw."
Submitting the response was an attorney from Missouri, the state that the new general campaign consultant, Jeff Roe, lives in.
"I think it's bizarre . . . I'm just stunned," Brewer said. "We have fine Michigan election lawyers and I guess absolutely none of them are willing to defend this forgery."
"We had signatures from dead voters. We went back and compared signatures from 2020. They don't match at all . . . It's massive. It's pervasive and it affects 7000 signatures and we believe and that's more than enough to knock him off the ballot," attorney Brewer argues.
He received the document from the Missouri lawyer today via the election bureau staff.
The former Democratic Party chair also reported that the rebuttal "was tardy."
Three Endorsements Disappear From Craig's Website
The names of a state representative and two other Republican Party officials disappeared off Craig's list of public endorsements in recent days.
Rep. John N. Damoose (R-Harbor Springs), Grand Traverse Republican Party Chair Haider KAZIM and Otsego County Chair Rob Pallarito no longer appear as endorsing Craig's campaign, something Damoose explained as a misunderstanding between him and the campaign.
He said he likes the Chief and assisted him with a campaign-related activity, but he never formally endorsed him. It was only after someone pointed out that he appeared as a committed endorsee on the Chief's website that he knew he was listed as such.
"I'm still undecided. I like Craig. I like some of the other guys, too. I really haven't made up my mind," he said.
Brown Uses Kentucky Derby Horse In His TV Ad
Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Brown is comparing himself to the Kentucky Derby 80-to-1 underdog Rich Strike in a 56-second YouTube video he posted today.
Like Rich Strike, Brown is looking to break out of the pack of the other candidates.
The spot opens with a closeup of a racehorse looking into the camera as a very low-keyed announcer does the voice over, "We all like an underdog story . . . an unlikely hero . . . (another close up of horse) a champion who beat the odds to stun the world," the copy goes on.
Then there is a brief bio about Brown's gig with the Marines and as a captain with the Michigan State Police. Then the video reveals the legs of other horses in a race with the script saying, "the early favorites falter as the hero steadily gains with victory."
The payoff video is of a jockey on the horse with the Mike Brown campaign colors and name on the jockey's uniform and the line, "we need a winner to finish the race."
The final picture is Brown next to a tractor with the traditional vote for me message.