DETROIT (WXYZ) - Mike Duggan released the following letter to his supporters this morning, just before publicly announcing he would not fight an appeals court ruling that he could not appear on the Detroit Mayoral Primary ballot.
Yesterday afternoon, the Michigan Court of Appeals removed me from the ballot as a candidate for Mayor.
There is no campaign staff member or lawyer to blame for this. I read the charter myself before I filed. I read the language the same way Detroit's Election Director read it, and the same way former Charter Commission Chair Freman Hendrix and WSU Law School Dean Jocelyn Benson read it.
But two out of the three Court of Appeals judges read it differently. And theirs is the only opinion that matters.
We could appeal to the Supreme Court, but even if we win legally, the political damage has been done. This was always going to be a close campaign against a very strong opponent that was going to go down to the wire. Two court rulings that I should not be on the ballot have created political damage that would be very difficult for this campaign ever to overcome.
For the 4,500 supporters who have already volunteered tens of thousands of hours and for the many donors who contributed generously to this effort, I'm really sorry it ended this way. This wasn't an easy decision. But I just couldn't see putting you through another 5 months of a difficult and expensive election when I know in my heart it's probably no longer winnable.
I really hope that this campaign made some small contribution to breaking down the racial divisions that exist in the community and in the region. If it did, all the time and effort spent over the last year was more than worth it.
But mostly I just want to say thank you to everyone who hosted a house party, walked with me in a parade, invited me to your church or senior center, or just stopped me on the street to offer support. The warmth and kindness I received in every corner of this city is something I'll always remember.
My family and I are in Detroit to stay. I'm not sure what the future holds, but I hope I end up in another role helping to rebuild the city I love. And if I do, I really I hope to get a chance to work with you again.
God bless you and thank you for your support.