Lawsuit filed to prevent suspected insurrectionist Ryan Kelley from appearing on general election ballot in Michigan

Kelley ‘is a clear and present danger to democracy in Michigan,’ the suit states

GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley spotted amid the mob on Jan. 6. - Via FBI
Via FBI
GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley spotted amid the mob on Jan. 6.

A progressive advocacy group filed a lawsuit Thursday in an attempt to keep suspected insurrectionist Ryan Kelley off of the general election ballot if he wins the primary next month, calling him a “clear and present danger to democracy.”

Progress Michigan filed the lawsuit with the Michigan Court of Appeals on behalf of registered voter Lee Estes.

The FBI arrested Kelley at his home in Allendale on June 9 on allegations that he joined the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

He was charged with four misdemeanor counts in connection with the violent riot.

The lawsuit alleges Kelley violated the 14th Amendment by participating in an insurrection aimed at overturning the presidential election.

“This is an action to prevent Ryan Kelley from appearing on the November 8, 2022 general election ballot as a candidate for Governor because he has ‘engaged in insurrection’ in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and therefore is ineligible to serve as a candidate for Governor for the State of Michigan,” the lawsuit states. “He is a clear and present danger to democracy in Michigan.”

Mark Brewer, an elections lawyer and former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, is the attorney for the plaintiff.

An EPIC-MRA of Lansing poll in June found that Kelley is leading the pack of five Republican candidates vying to face Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November. In the poll, conducted between June 10 and 13, Kelley was ahead, with 17% saying they preferred the Kelley.

In a separate poll published Wednesday, Kelley fared better than his primary opponents in a head-to-head contest with Whitmer. Of the five Republican candidates, he’s the most known candidate, with 50% of participants saying they’ve heard of him.

Kelley, who sells real estate, rose in popularity among the far right after organizing an armed protest against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions at the state Capitol in 2020.

He was captured on numerous videos climbing on scaffolding outside the U.S. Capitol building.

Michigan’s primary election is Aug. 2.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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