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Conyers’ Son Fails to Make the Ballot

Former congressman’s great nephew challenges signatures on son’s application to run to replace him in the House

The son of former Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and his great nephew hope to replace him in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
The son of former Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and his great nephew hope to replace him in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The family feud to replace former Rep. John Conyers Jr. took another turn Wednesday when the Michigan Democrat’s son failed to qualify for the ballot.

The Wayne County Clerk’s elections staff said John Conyers III, the former congressman’s son, was ineligible because he fell short of the number of valid signatures on his application to run, the Detroit News reported.

The decision was prompted by state Sen. Ian Conyers, the former congressman’s great nephew who is also running for the seat.

Clerk Cathy Garrett is expected to announce a decision about Conyers III’s eligibility on Friday.

The staff report from the Wayne County Elections Division found that of the 1,914 signatures John Conyers III submitted to qualify for the ballot, only 905 were valid, below the required 1,000.

The report said that 830 of the signatures were from people who were not registered to vote, or who did not live in the 13th District.

Separately, John Conyers III submitted a second petition to compete for a special election to fill out the rest of his father’s term with 1,905 signatures, but that application might also be thrown out since only 880 signatures were deemed valid by a second review and recommendation by the Wayne County Elections Division.

The elder Conyers resigned after multiple women came forward accusing him of sexual harassment and a report from BuzzFeed showed he used his office budget to settle a sexual harassment claim by a former staffer.

When Conyers announced his resignation, he endorsed Conyers III to suceed him Congress.

Jonathan Kinloch, chairman of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party, said Ian Conyers could benefit from being the only Conyers on the ballot.

“But still, Ian Conyers will have to raise the necessary resources to capture any momentum that the Conyers name might bring, because at the end of the day, his name is not John Conyers Jr.,” Kinlock told the newspaper.

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