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Michigan lawmaker quits write-in bid

US Rep. Thaddeus McCotter ran a little-noticed Republican presidential campaign last year before asking voters to reelect him to his Detroit-area congressional seat.
US Rep. Thaddeus McCotter ran a little-noticed Republican presidential campaign last year before asking voters to reelect him to his Detroit-area congressional seat.AP/File

LIVONIA, Mich. - US Representative Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan will not seek a sixth term through a write-in campaign after he failed to get enough signatures to get on the ballot.

McCotter ran a little-noticed Republican presidential campaign last year before asking voters to reelect him to his Detroit-area congressional seat. He surprised everyone late last month when he announced the Michigan secretary of state’s office had determined he did not have the 1,000 valid signatures needed for the Aug. 7 primary ballot, even though 2,000 signatures were turned in.

A spokesman for the secretary of state has said only a couple hundred signatures appeared valid and many seemed to be copies.

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McCotter, 46, initially said he would run a write-in campaign, while seeking an inquiry into what happened with his petitions. But Saturday, he issued a statement saying he could not cooperate with the investigation, fulfill his current duties, and run a write-in campaign, so he was ending his candidacy.

“One can’t clean up a mess multitasking,’’ he said. “Honoring my promise to the sovereign people of our community only allows me to finish the official duties of my present Congressional term; and aid the state attorney general criminal investigation that I requested into identifying the person or persons who concocted the fraudulent petitions that have cost me so dearly.’’

He added that his decision was final “regardless of how swiftly the investigation is concluded.’’

With McCotter out of the race, two Republicans are running. Kerry Bentivolio, a Vietnam War vet, from Milford, is the only one on the Aug. 7 primary ballot. Former state Senator Loren Bennett announced Friday that he would run as a write-in candidate.