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Published: Thursday, 10/11/2007

Kucinich to remain on Michigan ballot


LANSING - Michigan voters will have a choice of four candidates in the Democratic presidential primary, even though Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich tried to join four other Democrats who have decided not to be on the ballot.

Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Bill Richardson filed paperwork Tuesday saying they were withdrawing from the Jan. 15 contest. Joe Biden and Mr. Kucinich said in statements that they also were bypassing the primary.

But Mr. Kucinich twice filed incorrect paperwork with the Michigan secretary of state's office, and had not filed a notice of withdrawal with his notarized signature by Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline, said the office's spokesman, Ken Silfven.

A campaign manager first signed the paperwork, then the campaign sent in another withdrawal notice signed by Mr. Kucinich. But the signature had not been notarized as required.

"Unless his camp wants to litigate the matter, his name will appear on the ballot," Mr. Silfven said yesterday.

The withdrawal of the four candidates has turned the Democratic primary into basically a beauty contest for front-runner Hilary Clinton, Mr. Kucinich, Chris Dodd, and Mike Gravel. All have pledged not to campaign in Michigan, but voters will get a chance to vote for one of them.

Michigan violated Democratic National Committee rules by moving its primary earlier in the process. The four candidates who dropped off the ballot are honoring the DNC's wishes in skipping the contest.

As punishment for breaking the rules, the DNC has vowed to strip Michigan and Florida, which scheduled its contest on Jan. 29, of their delegates.

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