Mike Duggan says he will not appeal decision to keep him off Detroit Mayoral ballot

(WXYZ) - Mike Duggan says he will not continue his fight to get on the Detroit Mayoral ballot.

Duggan says "yesterday, two judges out of three ruled that I am not properly on the ballot." He says he read the city of Detroit Charter language himself, but that the judges on the Court of Appeals disagreed.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think you could get off the ballot for filing petitions too soon," Duggan says.

However, Duggan says he thinks the damage done by the court rulings to his campaign was too much to overcome.

During the news conference announcing he would not appeal, Duggan says he is not sure what the future will hold, but that he is sure he will be back in the future, working to improve Detroit.

"I'm certainly staying in Detroit and I expect to be active in the community," Duggan says.

Duggan's announcement is not unexpected. On Tuesday night, a source told 7 Action News that Duggan was leaning towards letting the Michigan Court of Appeals' decision to remove his name from the Detroit mayoral ballot stand.

That came hours after the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a decision by the lower court to remove Duggan from the Detroit Mayoral Primary ballot.

The unanimous decision was by Court of Appeals judges Stephen, Talbot and Murray. The majority decision was written by Talbot and Murray, with Stephens writing a concurring opinion.

The court found that Duggan was not eligible to be a candidate. Duggan turned in his petitions to be placed on the ballot less than one year after becoming register to vote in Detroit. 

Under the city's charter, a resident must be registered to vote in the city for at least one year in order to run for mayor.

The case was brought by mayoral candidate Tom Barrow. Barrow issued the following statement about the decision:

This is the best solution for the City of Detroit. 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.

The Appeals Court has affirmed the wisdom of the people when they approved the new City Charter last year with the requirement that a candidate must be, at a minimum, a registered voter and resident of the city for at least one year as was the intent of the Charter Commission.

Our biggest concern was that the integrity of the election process be respected by those who would move to our great city seeking public office.  It must be known that Detroit is a community which respects the rules of law and fair play and applies
these rules to everyone, whether rich or otherwise.

An incredible amount of money has been expended by all sides during this legal battle, all of which was unnecessary and should have been avoided had the Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey upheld her oath of office and not favored one office seeker over others who were not allowed onto the ballot based on the same Charter violation.

This a la carte style of ballot access Ms. Winfrey engaged in must be stopped and it is her stewardship of the elections process that has caused this case to go this far, disrupting Detroit's campaign an political process.

The Appellate Court's decision today is a stark repudiation of her stewardship over the Elections Division of the City of Detroit.   She refused to recuse herself due to her personal relationship and support of a candidate that the Court has now ruled should not have been approved for the ballot in the first place had she and the city's Corporation Counsel fairly and objectively interpreted the common sense plain language of the Charter.

In the best interest of all of the residents of the City of Detroit, Ms. Winfrey must immediately resign and take responsibility for this debacle in the wake of this devastating decision against her judgment and performance as City Clerk, she has cost the city and the parties enough money and humiliation.

At this point our total focus will shift entirely to promoting our programs for rebuilding Detroit's job base, creating incentives for businesses to be created and grown, and providing an ambitious plan to finance public safety long-term.

Our campaign moves forward from here to victory on August 6 and ultimately success in November.

Duggan says being a write-in candidate is not an option.


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