Number of GOP candidates, lawmakers under investigation continues to climb  

MDP: Republican candidates in Michigan have been arrested by the FBI, are under investigation for fraud, forgery, deception

LANSING — A growing list of Republicans running for office in Michigan are being investigated for everything from submitting fraudulent petition signatures to encouraging rioters at the deadly insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, to illegally using campaign dollars to fund pet projects. 

Among the GOP gubernatorial candidates, state elections officials determined half of the 10-person Republican candidate field submitted forged signatures, costing them a spot on the August primary ballot. Another GOP candidate for governor, Ryan Kelley, was arrested by the FBI this week for his role in the riot at the U.S. Capitol last year. 

In the Legislature, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey is accused of illegally funding the Unlock Michigan ballot initiative with dark money from nonprofit organizations he controlled. Disgraced former GOP Speaker Lee Chatfield had his home searched as part of an investigation into the handling of his campaign finances and related political action committees.

“It’s hard to remember all the Republicans facing criminal charges and investigations because the list gets longer each day,” said Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “The growing number criminal allegations and investigations hanging over Republicans going into the election cycle will spell big problems with Michigan voters who understand that people who wish to make laws should not continuously break laws.”

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