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James, RNC form legal fund to oppose Peters' Michigan Senate victory

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

The campaign of Republican Senate candidate John James and the Republican National Committee have teamed up to form a legal fund as the Army veteran opposes the victory of Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters in Michigan.

James, who announced last week he wanted Wayne County officials to investigate the results of the election, lost to Peters 49.8% to 48.3% with all precincts reporting. 

The James campaign argued that the Farmington Hills businessman was well ahead before supposedly questionable votes put Peters up in Wayne County and secured the Bloomfield Township Democrat's win. Wayne County, which includes Detroit, traditionally publishes its results later than other jurisdictions around the state.

Senate candidate John James addresses the crowd during Trump's campaign rally in Lansing.

An attorney representing James said there were irregularities that called into the question the integrity of the election during a meeting last week of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.

"John James put his life on the line as a soldier to defend free and fair elections in Iraq, so of course he is committed to defending voting rights in Michigan," James campaign spokeswoman Abby Walls said. 

"John swore an oath to the Constitution, not to any party or person," she continued. "He believes that he has a duty to use his platform to help restore public confidence in our elections. The best way to do that is to carefully examine credible allegations and seek out remedies to any errors that may have occurred."

Last week, Peters laughed at accusations that Democrats cheated James out of a victory and said at a news conference that the Republican, who also lost two years ago to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow should not be a sore loser.

"It’s sad and it’s pathetic. They lost," Peters said then. "It’s very clear. Just count the votes. I understand Mr. James has been running for four years, he’s lost twice now. I understand that doesn’t sit well with him."

The James campaign's concerns echoes those of President Donald Trump, who has refused to concede the election to president-elect Joe Biden, alleging widespread voter fraud in several states, including Michigan, without solid evidence. A Michigan Court of Claims judge and a Wayne County Circuit judge rejected two lawsuits last week. 

lfleming@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2620

Twitter:@leonardnfleming