Officials Say Conyers Lacks Signatures to Get on Ballot

Image: John Conyers
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., addresses supporters during the Michigan Democratic election night party in Detroit. Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett is expected to make her final determination Tuesday, May 13, 2014 on whether the longtime congressman should be on the Aug. 5 primary ballot. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)Carlos Osorio / AP

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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."