Judge Kicks Major Detroit Mayoral Candidate Off the Ballot

Mike Duggan was removed from the ballot by a Wayne County judge, citing residency issues.

Posted: 06/11/2013 06:53 PM EDT

In a ruling that has upended the race for the mayor of Detroit, a judge ruled Monday to remove Mike Duggan, one of the two leading candidates, off the ballot after a challenge to his residency.

Duggan, a former prosecutor who served as the deputy Wayne County executive, was once considered one of the two leading candidates to succeed Mayor Dave Bing, who announced he would not run for re-election. Most recently, Duggan served as president and chief executive of the Detroit Medical Center. With his candidacy, Duggan was running to become Detroit’s first white mayor since the 1970s.

In the ruling, Wayne County Circuit Judge Lita M. Popke sided with mayoral contender Tom Barrow, who, along with labor activist Robert Davis, challenged Duggan’s candidacy. The two argued that Duggan had not lived in Detroit for a full year by April 2, the day Duggan turned in nominating signatures to make the ballot.

Duggan’s campaign has not refuted the date that he moved into Detroit. However, they said that his official date of moving should be considered May 14, which would have put him in the city by the city’s filing deadline for candidates to earn a spot on the ballot for the election, which will be in August.

He is considered one of the front runners, along with Benny Napoleon, the Wayne County Sheriff.

Duggan’s campaign said it would study the ruling and will decide by Wednesday how to proceed.

“We’re considering all the options,” said John Roach, the spokesman for the Duggan campaign, in an interview with BET.com. “We are looking at the ruling and we will determine by the morning whether to file an appeal. This was absolutely a surprise.”

Roach added, “We still believe that we are 100 percent right on the law. This ruling has gone against every opinion we have received from several election law experts.”

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(Photo: Jonathan Hicks/BET)

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