Mike Brown says he is ‘disgusted’ by Michigan signature scandal ‘incompetence,’ quits race

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Michigan gubernatorial candidate Michael Brown announced the end of his campaign Tuesday after thousands of petition signatures for himself and a slew of other candidates were deemed invalid.Brown, a Republican and Michigan State Police captain, was running in the Republican gubernatorial primary against other prominent conservative candidates, including James Craig, Perry Johnson and Garrett Soldano. Gubernatorial candidates are required to submit 15,000 valid signatures to appear on the state ballot. According to the state’s Elections Bureau, multiple candidates were affected by a series of petitioners who obtained nothing but invalid or otherwise unusable signatures, putting them well below the mark for qualification.”I’m withdrawing from the governor’s race,” Brown told Fox News Digital. “I’m not contesting.””I was disgusted by the fact my campaign was compromised by others’ incompetence,” he added. “Eight months of hard work was tossed out the window.”MICHIGAN BUREAU OF ELECTIONS SAYS TOP GOP GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES INELIGABLE FOR BALLOTBrown, who was far behind major candidates with just 2% of the vote, blamed his opponents for the disastrous mix-up. Brown claims he submitted his petition papers on April 12, well ahead of the deadline, and that independent contractors working for his campaign hopped to other candidates in need of the same work.”Circulators were identified from their campaigns that had completed valid petitions on my campaign previously,” he said. “So those signatures were deemed invalid on mine as well.”Brown is making the case that the same contractors that produced valid signatures for his campaign went on to produce the invalid signatures for other candidates. The bureau’s report offered a glimpse at some suspect signatures on Brown petition, highlighting areas of doubt, including canceled voter registrations, misspellings, unusual abbreviations, and distinctive handwriting flourishes in recurring areas.”A referral has been made to the attorney general. Now that this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we have no further comment,” the Michigan State Department told Fox News Digital.MICHIGAN SCHOOL THAT PASSED ‘ANTI-RACISM RESOLUTION’ SUSPENDS TEACHER FOR WORKSHEET COMPARING OBAMA TO MONKEYS”In total, the Bureau estimates that these circulators submitted at least 68,000 invalid signatures submitted across 10 sets of nominating petitions,” the Michigan Elections Bureau said in their intial report. “In several instances, the number of invalid signatures submitted by these circulators was the reason a candidate had an insufficient number of valid signatures. In other instances, while invalid signatures were identified in the candidate’s filing, the number was insufficient to move the number of signatures below the threshold for ballot qualification.””Staff reviewed each petition sheet submitted by Mr. Brown. During the review, staff flagged each sheet which was signed by fraudulent-petition circulators,” the bureau said of Brown specifically. According to the bureau’s assessment, 13,775 of Brown’s 20,900 signatures were inauthentic. Brown decided to drop out in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, calling it a “painful decision.””Their incompetence cost my campaign a place on the ballot,” he told Fox News Digital. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPBrown is not the only candidate infuriated by the scandal. “Michigan’s petition process is fatally flawed because it easily allows criminals to victimize candidates for public office and their thousands of supporters who legitimately sign petitions,” Johnson said of the situation in a campaign statement Monday. “We must bring quality to the petition process by allowing campaigns a mechanism to compare signatures that are gathered by circulators with signatures on the Qualified Voter File to ensure their legitimacy.”A source close to the Craig campaign told Fox News Digital that the candidate plans to contest his removal from the ballot in court.

Mojtaba Sadira

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