An African American GOP candidate for the Senate in Michigan rejected calls to accept he lost the election before all votes are counted.
John James refuses to act on the Democratic Party’s demands to concede defeat in the general election held on Nov. 3.
James insists on waiting until all votes are counted before he even considers phoning incumbent Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) to congratulate him.
“Every vote must count, and elections must be fair and honest,” he said in a statement. “This campaign is not about me; it never has been. It is about the people of Michigan.”
He described a fair election as a cornerstone of “representative democracy” and something for which he is willing to fight.
“While not everyone wins in an election, voters must be confident that the election was fair and honest,” he said. “American citizens deserve to know that the democratic process has not been circumvented by the powerful or politically connected … failure to do so is the end of democracy.”
At the time of publication, more than 5.4 million votes had been counted for the U.S. Senate seat in Michigan.
Peters had 49.8%, James 48.3%, U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate Valerie Willis 0.9%, Green Party candidate Marcia Squier 0.7%, and Natural Law Party candidate Doug Dern 0.2%, according to Google.
However, James contests it is still uncertain whether the election was conducted lawfully and questioned the motive of Democrats who prematurely want him to concede defeat.
“While Senator Peters is currently ahead, I have deep concerns that millions of Michiganders may have been disenfranchised by a dishonest few who cheat,” he said. “At this time, there is enough credible evidence to warrant an investigation to ensure that elections are conducted in a transparent, legal, and fair manner. Those who object likely have something to hide.”
President Donald Trump supported James’s decision to exercise his right to scrutinize the election results.
“Wow! It looks like Michigan has now found the ballots necessary to keep a wonderful young man, John James, out of the U.S. Senate,” he said on Twitter. “What a terrible thing is happening!”
Peters had already declared victory and surprised the press when he laughed off reporter questions about James’s allegations of election fraud.
“Gary Peters laughed out loud when asked what he makes of John James’s campaign allegations of irregularities with election results,” MLive public interest reporter Malachi Barrett said on Twitter. “Peters says James needs to accept his loss.”