Local activist accuses judge of illegal campaign materials

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Does the use of the word “judge” on campaign materials of 53rd District Court Judge Suzanne Geddis constitute a crime when she’s running for a newly created seat?

That’s what Vicki Fyke of Howell maintains.

Michigan law says candidates can’t falsely claim incumbency by using words like “incumbent, re-elect, re-election,” or otherwise indicate, represent, or give the impression that a candidate for public office is the incumbent, when in fact the candidate is not the incumbent.

Geddis is using the word “Judge” in her campaign materials for the new 44th Circuit Court seat.

Does that falsely imply incumbency?

Fyke maintains it does, and she requested Livingston County William Vailliencourt investigate.

“I watch election integrity like a hawk,” Fyke wrote to Vailliencourt on Sept. 14. “I began investigating whether or not Ms. Geddis could use the word ‘Judge’ on her campaign advertisements to the public, giving the impression she was the incumbent in the race. My suspicions were confirmed when around July 23rd I began to see a sticker on many (not all) of the Geddis signs that added the word ‘District.’ Change means correction to me, so I began a deeper investigation. What I found out has shocked me and for that reason, I am requesting you to take action.”

Vailliencourt, citing conflicts of interest, referred the matter to the Michigan Attorney General, and the AG then referred it to the Ingham County Prosecutors Office, which will review the case and decide whether charges are in order.

Geddis did not respond to a request for comment.


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