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Duggan will be on the Detroit ballot

Duggan supporters out in force

Duggan supporters out in force

The Detroit Election Commission voted 2-1 to certify Mike Duggan’s candidacy for mayor. His name will appear on the August ballot.

Interim Corporation Counsel Edward Keelean and City Clerk Janice Winfrey voted to certify Duggan. Council President Charles Pugh voted no.

“The reality is he was not living in the city or registered to vote for a year when he filed to run for mayor,” said Pugh, who believes Duggan’s filing is not consistent with city election law.  “It was intent of the electorate to have one year residency at the time of filing.”

The city’s law department, led by Keelean, however, disagreed with Pugh’s interpretation.

“It is the body’s job to place the question (on the ballot),” said a city lawyer. “Leave the responsibility to the people to vote the question up or down.”

Earlier this week, mayoral candidate Tom Barrow asked City Clerk Winfrey to disqualify 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 changed his address with the Secretary of State April 16, 2012.

He filed his petitions April 2, 2013. Duggan was the first candidate to file.

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

Barrow said, in a press statement, “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 said 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.

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.”


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