Wayne County Clerk's office facing criticism for primary election mishaps

Aug 8, 2018

The Wayne County Clerk’s office faces scrutiny for a series of mishaps on primary election night, including inaccurate vote totals on the clerk’s website. The results of one state Senate race are drawing particular interest among critics.

State Senator David Knezek of Dearborn was the incumbent candidate in the Democratic primary against an unknown challenger named Betty Jean Alexander. Alexander, a resident of Detroit, reportedly spent no money on her campaign, had no campaign website or presence in the community, and has never held public office. Alexander beat Knezek by a couple of thousand votes.

Alexander appears to have been put up for election by a relative – longtime Detroit political operative LaMar Lemmons. Lemmons says he wanted to see a challenger from Detroit on the ballot, and he told a reporter that Knezek probably lost because his name sounds Polish.

Betty Jean Alexander has an extensive civil court record, and one criminal charge, with numerous evictions, liens and bankruptcies between Detroit and Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s unclear where she lives in the city of Detroit.