Mike Duggan, one of two leading candidates for mayor of Detroit, said he will appeal a judge’s decision to take him off the ballot in the upcoming mayoral race after a residency challenge.
“We will appeal this decision and we believe that we are absolutely right on the law,” said John Roach, a spokesman for the Duggan campaign, speaking with BET.com.
“We believe there will be a decision made by next week, since the absentee ballots will have to be printed soon,” Roach said.
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 Detroit by the city’s filing deadline for candidates to earn a spot on the ballot for the election, which will be in August.
Roach said that Duggan, a former prosecutor and former chief executive of the Detroit Medical Center, had spent considerable time reviewing the election law regarding residency and was convinced that the judge’s ruling was flawed.
The judge’s decision came after the city’s election commission decided by a 2-to-1 vote that Duggan met the residency requirements. The third member of the commission, Charles Pugh, the City Council president, dissented.
The judge’s decision rocked the race to succeed Mayor Dave Bing, who announced last month that he would not seek reelection. Duggan was seeking to be Detroit’s first white mayor since Roman Gribbs left office at the beginning of 1974. While there are several candidates running for mayor, Duggan was considered one of the top contenders, along with Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.
Tom Barrow, the mayoral contender who, along with labor activist Robert Davis, challenged Duggan’s candidacy, had a strong reaction to Duggan's decision to file an appeal.
“For Duggan to continue this futile legal fight is a waste of resources and is in fact divisive for the city, where the decision restored confidence in the judicial system,” Barrow said. “Duggan needs...to accept the decision and move on with his life and allow Detroiters to seek out the leadership they deserve to move the city forward.”
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(Photo: Jonathan Hicks/BET)