Carone, state Sen. Alexander among those disqualified from primary ballot

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — The Michigan Secretary of State's office has informed 15 candidates, including Republican election critic Mellissa Carone and Democratic state Sen. Betty Jean Alexander, that they've been disqualified from the Aug. 2 primary ballot.

The majority of the candidates were declared ineligible because they signed false statements indicating they were in compliance with campaign finance requirements, according to a press release Tuesday afternoon.

Mellissa Carone, who worked at the TCF Center in Detroit on Election Night, speaks to the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020.

"The Michigan election law prohibits filing officials from certifying to the ballot the names of candidates whose affidavits of identity are missing required information or that contain false statements," the press release said.

Four candidates were disqualified because of "missing information or information that indicates the candidate is not eligible in the jurisdiction." They were Faiz Aslam, running in the 6th Congressional District; Michael Shallal, running in the 57th state House district; Steven Thomas, running in the 31st state Senate district; and Howard Weathington, running in the 3rd state Senate district.

Alexander, an incumbent Democrat from Detroit, was among 11 candidates disqualified because their campaign finance filings were out of compliance. She was elected to the Senate in 2018 after scoring an upset victory over then-state Sen. David Knezek of Dearborn Heights in the primary without spending a dime. She was running for reelection in the 6th District.

MORE: Single mom goes from food stamps to Michigan Senate

Carone was planning to challenge Sen. Mike MacDonald, R-Macomb Township, in the 11th District.

She was previously disqualified from running for the state House after she submitted a faulty affidavit attesting that she had no outstanding campaign finance issues.

Carone had gained national attention by making unproven claims of fraud in Michigan's 2020 election. Her testimony at a December 2020 state House committee hearing alongside former President Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was parodied on "Saturday Night Live."

Republican Jon Rocha, who was running in the 78th state House district, was also disqualified. He had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Former state Rep. Alberta Talabi, D-Detroit, was disqualified from running in the 3rd state Senate district, and Republican Chase Turner was disqualified from challenging Rep. Ann Bollin, R-Brighton.

State Sen. Betty Jean Alexander, D-Detroit, is sworn in by Chief Justice Stephen Markman during opening ceremonies of the 100th Legislature in Lansing on Jan. 9, 2019.

Michigan election law requires candidates to vow that "as of the date of the affidavit, all statements, reports, late filing fees, and fines required of the candidate or any candidate committee organized to support the candidate's election under the Michigan campaign finance act … have been filed or paid."

The candidates disqualified over campaign finance issues "all had outstanding campaign finance reports or unpaid fines at the time they signed the affidavit of identity," the Secretary of State's office said.