GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The secretary of state's office says a lawmaker from Grand Rapids who switched parties did not break campaign finance law.
In a letter sent to state Rep. Roy Schmidt's attorney this week, a law specialist in the state's Bureau of Elections writes that the Democrat-turned-Republican intended to commit a campaign finance violation by paying someone to run against him.
But Melissa Malerman writes that the violation never occurred, because the prospective opponent, Matt Mojzak, withdrew from the ballot shortly after filing paperwork to run, and the payment apparently was not made.
Schmidt was the incumbent Democrat for the 76th District seat when he switched to the Republican Party minutes before the May filing deadline. He lost in the November general election to Democrat Winnie Brinks of Grand Rapids.
Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.