Longtime Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., will not be on the ballot for re-election this year after failing to secure enough valid signatures ahead of the Aug. 5 primary, election officials said Tuesday.
Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett said the nominating petitions of the 84-year-old congressman are insufficient because they were collected by circulators not registered to vote.
Conyers is expected to appeal the decision, but if it stands it could derail Conyers' bid for a 26th term in Congress. If Conyers were to win in November, he would become the longest serving current member of the House of Representatives, giving him the "Dean" title that Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., is giving up after her retires at the end of this term.
"The fact that the Wayne County Clerk has issued her determination will allow us to move on to present a direct and straightforward case that under the U.S. Constitution, every voter who wants to sign a petition to support their desired candidate and political position should be able to do so," read a statement from from State Senator Bert Johnson, campaign chair for Conyers for Congress.
It added, "As a result, under existing precedent, we believe Representative Conyers will ultimately be placed on the August ballot."
In her statement, Garrett says she "eagerly awaits the courts' review of the constitutionality of the laws and statutes pertaining to petition circulators."
First published May 13 2014, 3:04 PM
Frank Thorp V
Frank Thorp V is a producer and off-air reporter covering Congress for NBC News. He started this role in June 2011. Thorp is responsible for managing coverage of the House of Representatives, and supports Capitol Hill correspondents Kelly Oâ€™Donnell and Luke Russert in their reporting on Congress.
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Previously, Thorp served as NBC Newsâ€™ long-term presence in Haiti after a devastating earthquake hit that country in 2010. Thorp has also worked at CBS News.
He studied psychology at West Virginia University, and lives in Alexandria, Va. with his wife and chocolate lab.