Duggan out of mayor’s race
Appeals court upholds lower court’s ruling to keep Duggan off ballot
By Zenobia Jeffries
The Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Mike Duggan announced June 19 he will not appeal the Michigan Appeals Court decision to keep him off the 2013 mayoral ballot. In a press conference at his headquarters, Duggan said he should have waited to file.
“I should not have given them any chance to twist this away,” he said. “I should have held the petition two weeks.”
Duggan, however, continued to blame the Detroit City Charter’s “badly drafted” language saying, “No question there are flaws in the Charter.”
He insisted, “I am the first candidate to be knocked off for filing early.”
With this, Duggan ignores both courts’ decisions, which stated he did not meet residency requirements to run for elected office. Disappointed with Franklin-transplant and current Mayor Dave Bing’s policies, Detroiters wanted to mandate residency into the new Charter.
The Michigan State Court of Appeals affirmed Third Circuit Court Judge Lita M. Popke’s decision June 18 to take Duggan off the upcoming August ballot. In a majority opinion, the three-judge panel found that Duggan did not meet the Detroit City Charter qualifications for elected office.
“We hold that Duggan has not met the qualifications for elected office by the plain terms contained in the charter.”
Judge Popke ruled June 11 that Duggan had failed to fulfill the Charter’s requirement to be a registered voter for a year at the time he filed his candidacy. In a 22-page decision, Popke said the Charter’s language was “clear” and “unambiguous.”
“This is the best solution for the city of Detroit,” said mayoral candidate Tom Barrow, who filed to have Duggan removed from the ballot. “The court, in upholding the new Detroit City Charter, restores Detroiters’ faith in the objective rule of law and in treating all citizens the same regardless of wealth and stature.”
Duggan says he will respect the law and his supporters, and will not appeal to the state’s highest court to run for mayor.
“If the Supreme Court places me on the ballot, am I putting my supporters through something that we can’t recover from?” Duggan asked, acknowledging both courts’ rulings to remove him from the ballot.
Duggan says he is “obviously” going to vote for one of the other candidates.