Democrat Adam Hollier appeals decision to remove him from U.S. House ballot in Michigan

Melissa Nann Burke, The Detroit News on

Published in Political News

DETROIT — Democratic congressional candidate Adam Hollier of Detroit has appealed a Wayne County ruling disqualifying him from the ballot to the office of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Hollier, in an appeal filed Friday, alleges that all of the candidates' nominating petitions in the 13th District race for U.S. House show "suspicious indicators" of fraud, including those of incumbent U.S. Rep. Shri Thanedar of Detroit. He is asking Benson to validate the congressman's individual signatures, as well as those of Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Waters and attorney Shakira Hawkins, who also filed for the Democratic primary.

"Simply put, fraud and forgery by paid nominating petition circulators is a widespread problem already known to your Office and to the public," Hollier attorney Alan Wilk wrote in a letter to Benson. "This is a situation which justifies the expertise and resources of your Office to safeguard the nominating petition process for a very important Congressional Office."

Hollier's team also argues that Thanedar filed his challenge against Hollier's petitions under the wrong section of Michigan election law and filed it with the wrong office, so it shouldn't count.

Thanedar, however, is arguing that Benson in this situation has a conflict of interest because she has endorsed Hollier's campaign and purportedly signed his nominating petitions in February. Benson resides in the 13th District, which covers the bulk of Detroit, the Grosse Pointes and Downriver communities.

Thanedar said the situation puts Benson in an "awkward" position that she shouldn't be involved in as secretary of state.


"The latest appeal by Adam Hollier is another attempt to use his insider political connections to cover up his failure to collect valid signatures, including the hundreds of fraudulent ones he’s already admitted to submitting," Thanedar said in a statement.

"If Adam Hollier cannot complete a simple task of collecting 1,000 valid signatures, how can the voters trust him to solve the tough problems of flood relief, lack of public transportation, home repair assistance, low-income housing and much more?"

Thanedar noted that Heaster Wheeler, a senior adviser to Benson, also signed Hollier's petition. Wheeler served as Hollier's campaign manager last cycle.

A spokeswoman for Benson said Wednesday that Michigan law specifies that any appeals of county decisions on ballot access are reviewed and decided by the state Bureau of Elections, not Benson herself.


swipe to next page

©2024 The Detroit News. Visit detroitnews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus