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New Campaign ads violate state law by implying incumbency

LANSING, Mich., August 1, 2018 –Today the Michigan Republican Party notified Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon that Democratic frontrunner Gretchen Whitmer is currently breaking Michigan election law. The Whitmer for Governor campaign is running multiple ads in which Whitmer is referred to as “Governor,” implying incumbency. Under Michigan election law a false designation of incumbency is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 90 days imprisonment in county jail.

“Gretchen Whitmer, a former prosecutor, seems to have a really poor grasp of Michigan law,” said Sarah Anderson Deputy Chief of Staff at the Michigan Republican Party. Anderson continued, “Whitmer and her allies are defending against multiple campaign finance and election law violations. Michigan needs a Governor who enforces state law, not someone who thinks she is above it. We trust that Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon will take action on this notification despite the fact that she co-hosted a Whitmer for Governor fundraiser on July 22, the proceeds of which may have paid for the ads in question.”

Whitmer’s ad specifically violates Section 944 of Act 116 of 1954 in Michigan Election law which states:

Any person who advertises or uses in any campaign material, including radio, television, newspapers, circulars, cards, or stationery, the words incumbent, re-elect, re-election, or otherwise indicates, represents, or gives the impression that a candidate for public office is the incumbent, when in fact the candidate is not the incumbent, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as provided in section 934.

In regard to the punishment for the misdemeanor mentioned above section 934 states:

Any person who shall be found guilty of a misdemeanor under the provisions of this act shall, unless herein otherwise provided, be punished by a fine of not exceeding $500.00, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.