Congressman Thaddeus McCotter first took office in 2002. This year he won’t even make the ballot in the August primary. After submitting 2,000 signatures to be eligible for the primary, the Secretary of State notified him he did not have the minimum 1,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot.
His petitions are now part of a fraud investigation.
State officials are reviewing whether fraud was a factor in the petition signatures for U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter that now threaten to keep him off the August ballot and out of Congress.
The five-term Livonia congressman announced late Friday that he may not have met the basic requirement of collecting enough signatures of registered voters to appear on the ballot for re-election.
He turned in 2,000 signatures by the May 15 deadline, but a review by the Secretary of State’s Office found he may come up short of the 1,000 minimum number of qualifying signatures to make the cut.
A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said Sunday that the office is reviewing the signatures for possible fraud, but she declined to elaborate.
“Yes, it’s being discussed,” said Gisgie Gendreau, spokeswoman for Johnson.
Don’t despair, though, McCotterphiles. He’s going to run as a write-in candidate.
Admitting there were some irregularities in his signatures to qualify for the ballot, U.S. Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter said today he is running for re-election to Congress as a write-in candidate.
McCotter, addressing the signature stunner in a column in today’s Detroit News, said he is sending a letter to the Secretary of State’s Office “agreeing with their finding that my petitions are insufficient to place my name on the August primary ballot.”
He also asked for the office to “refer any irregularities to the state attorney general for a thorough investigation” and give voters a chance to vote for or against him — “the only way to clean up my mess.”
In his Detroit News column, McCotter likens himself to George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life:
Now I feel like George Bailey after Uncle Billy admitted he lost the money. Like George, knowing my misplaced trust has negatively impacted so many people is heartrending. Unlike George, I am not tempted to jump off a bridge. Instead, I remember my late father’s rule: “You clean up your own mess.”
Except that George Bailey had, you know, compassion. That’s really not part of the whole far-right Republican schtick, is it, Thad?
UPDATE: The Michigan Secretary of State now says that only 244 of the 2,000 signatures submitted by McCotter were valid.
[CC image credit: Gage Skidmore | Flickr]