DETROIT (CN) — Seeking to replace his embattled father in Congress, John Conyers III filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to get on the Democratic primary ballot in the district centered on Detroit.
Conyers sued the Wayne County Election Commission and Wayne County Clerk Cathy M. Garrett in Wayne County Circuit Court.
His father, former U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr., D-Detroit, retired in December after several former female staffers accused the then 88-year-old of sexually harassing and acting inappropriately with them. Conyers Jr., who has represented Michigan’s 13th Congressional District and its previous iterations since 1965, has denied the accusations.
Garrett declared Conyers III ineligible for the Aug. 6 primary after a review found he lacked the necessary 1,000 valid petition signatures. The review was on behalf of Conyers III’s cousin, Ian Conyers, D-Detroit, who also is running for the nomination.
Garrett found that Conyers III had only 894 valid signatures for the special primary ballot and 943 valid signatures for the regular primary ballot.
The special primary will help decide who serves out Conyers Jr.’s current term. The regular primary will help decide who will represent the 13th Congressional District for the two-year term beginning next January.
“In filing these petition signatures, which included reviewing petition signatures in defendant clerk’s office, as least 188 valid petition signatures were not accepted by defendants, despite the fact that these voters are registered voters in the QVF [Qualified Voter File],” the complaint states. “This review, had it been conducted in a timely manner, would verify that enough signatures were submitted.”
If the petition is successful, Conyers III would be one of eight Democrats running to represent the district. The winner of the primary is expected to win the general election in the largely Democratic district.