MDP Statement on Questions Raised in Bridge Investigative Report
LANSING — The Michigan Democratic Party issued the following statement today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding an investigative report by Bridge that questions the eligibility of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed:
“From the beginning of this election cycle, it has been our belief that a robust, spirited primary with diverse and dynamic candidates will not only benefit the Party but more importantly, it will help strengthen our eventual nominee for the general election fight ahead. We are also proud of the fact we have the most diverse lineup of Democrats running for governor this state has ever seen.
“Recently, an investigative report raised questions about the eligibility of one of our candidates, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. The report cites provisions in the Michigan Constitution and state law that contain certain residency requirements to qualify as a candidate. While Dr. El-Sayed’s campaign strongly contends they meet Michigan’s constitutional and statutory requirements, election law sources cited in the report did not share the same view, and it is not clear how the courts would rule on the matter if Dr. El-Sayed’s status as a candidate is challenged.
“While we at the Party believe elections should be decided by voters, not technicalities, we also believe a residency challenge could be lengthy, costly, and divert attention away from the important issues affecting Michigan residents. Recently, in Maryland, a Democratic candidate for governor pre-emptively requested the court affirm her eligibility to run amid questions about whether she met that state’s residency requirements. Similarly, we are calling on Dr. El-Sayed to take appropriate legal action, including asking the courts for a ruling on his eligibility as soon as possible. Regrettably, we feel this is the only way to put this matter to rest quickly and without ambiguity.
“We hope the court would handle this request swiftly and diligently so all of our great candidates, including Dr. El-Sayed, can put this issue behind them and focus on the issues that really matter to the people of Michigan.”