Duggan vows to appeal judge's ruling, get back on Detroit ballot

Jun 12, 2013

Mike Duggan with supporters Wednesday.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

  Mike Duggan says he’s confident he’ll be back as an official candidate for Detroit mayor.

Duggan is appealing a judge’s decision that disqualified him from the ballot Tuesday.

The issue: The Detroit city charter says anyone running for office must be a registered Detroit voter “for one year at the time of filing for office.”

According to a Wayne County judge’s ruling, that means the day you submit petitions to run—and in that case, Duggan doesn’t make the cut.

But Duggan says pretty much everyone else, including the Detroit city clerk, believes that language actually refers to the filing deadline, not the day a particular candidate files.

“Had anybody said to me, “You know, you can’t file from one year from when you registered,’ I would’ve have taken the forms home and come back two weeks later and filed them,” Duggan said.

“The deadline was May 14th. I was a registered voter 13 months before. We hit the intent of the charter. To have anything else…is a moving target that becomes an absurdity.”

Duggan says he’s confident the majority of election law experts share his interpretation, and that it will prevail in the higher courts.

One of Duggan’s mayoral challengers, Tom Barrow, raised the charter issue. Barrow pursued it in court after the Detroit Elections Commission overruled the challenge and put Duggan on the ballot.

"Duggan is free to appeal to the state courts, the US Supreme Court, the World Court at The Hague and even Capt. Kirk's United Federation of Planets, the result will be the same because the decision is rooted in the case law and state statutes,” Barrow said in a statement.