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A non-party candidate for attorney general will be on the November ballot

Christopher Graveline

Michigan voters just got another choice for attorney general candidates in the November election.

The Board of State Canvassers certified former Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline as a non-party candidate Friday.

“Both parties were going further to the right and further to the left, and I decided there was a running lane in the middle. And I’m running as a political moderate,” he says.

Graveline initially didn’t have enough signatures to be on the ballot. So he sued the state. He argued the number of signatures needed was too high – and he won.

A federal judge said if Graveline had 5,000 valid signatures, he could be on the ticket for attorney general. 

Graveline had the 5,000 signatures, so the Board of State Canvassers put him on the ballot. But they weren’t happy about it.

Here’s what board member Julie Matuzak said just before the vote:

“I will, under objection, make this motion. I think this is ridiculous and we should continue to explore this, because I’m sorry it’s so hard to get on the ballot in Michigan,” she says.

Graveline will for sure be on the ballot. But the state plans to still fight the underlying lawsuit. A spokesperson says the state doesn’t want to set a precedent that allows fewer signatures to be on the ballot.

Graveline will run against Republican candidate Tom Leonard and Democratic candidate Dana Nessel.     

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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