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Barrow hopes to disqualify Duggan

Tom Barrow

Tom Barrow

DETROIT — This week, Tom Barrow asked City Clerk Janice Winfrey to disqualify Mike Duggan from the mayoral race. Barrow says Duggan’s filing fails to meet Detroit City Charter residency requirements.

According to the city charter, “All candidates for elective office and elected officials shall be bona fide residents of the city of Detroit and must maintain their principal residence in the city of Detroit for one year at the time of filing for office or appointment to office, and throughout their tenure in office.”

Duggan filed petitions April 2, 2013, and did not change his address with the Secretary of State until April 16. Duggan was the first candidate to file.

The filing deadline for all candidates was May 14, 2013.

In a press statement, Barrow says, “Mr. Duggan could not and did not become a qualified and registered voter of the city of Detroit until April 16, 2013, … and was therefore ineligible to seek office in the city of Detroit based on residency.”

In a radio interview, Duggan says he met the May 14 filing deadline, which certified his candidacy. Duggan says his campaign “understood (the deadlines) very well” and was “very conscious” of the dates.

Janice Winfrey

Janice Winfrey

Duggan says, at the time of filing, he confirmed his eligibility with the city clerk’s office. He also said he would have “held onto his petitions for two weeks” if Barrow’s interpretation of the law were accurate.

Duggan believes his reading of the Detroit Charter is consistent with state law. “When you are talking about dates, you are talking about filing deadlines,” he said. “It would be a shock to election law attorneys everywhere if they did not interpret this as date of filing.”

Honigman election law attorney John Pirich, who was on the opposite side of Barrow in his recount against Bing, says he believes Duggan “clearly qualified.”

The Detroit Corporation Counsel Edward Keelean will advise the Detroit Election Commission on the interpretation of the charter. The Election Commission  is made up of Winfrey, Council President Charles Pugh and Keelean.­

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