Appeals court rules Mike Duggan off Detroit election ballot - FOX 32 News Chicago

Appeals court rules: Mike Duggan to stay off Detroit mayoral ballot

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Mike Duggan Mike Duggan
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled Mike Duggan's name will stay off the primary ballot for Detroit mayor.

Duggan's name was removed last week when a judge ruled he violated the Detroit City Charter's residency requirement by filing before he had lived in the city for a year. The judge said that made him ineligible to run.

Tuesday's ruling upholds the judge's decision. So far, there is no word if Duggan will appeal to the state Supreme Court.

This is a victory for mayoral candidate Tom Barrow, who challenged Duggan's residency, but Barrow has also asked the state Supreme Court to weigh in.

At a news conference Tuesday evening, Barrow said, "The court's decision this afternoon is the best solution for the people of the City of Detroit. In upholding the Detroit City Charter, the court restored Detroiters' faith in the objective rule of law and in treating all the citizens the same regardless of their wealth and position. Notwithstanding, I am not one who is rejoicing over Mr. Duggan's loss as I believe he has suffered enough, and I, for one, understand the deep disappointment he has been forced to publicly endure these last few weeks."

He continued, "An incredible amount of money was expended by all sides during this legal battle, all of which was completely unnecessary and should have been avoided had the Detroit city clerk, Janice Winfrey, upheld her oath of office and not favored one officer seeker over others, who were not allowed onto the ballot based on the same charter provision violation."

"In the best interest of all 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 and chief election officer."

Check out the videos for more from Tom Barrow's news conference and former Oakland County Republican Party Chairman Paul Welday.

"We've been fighting every step of the way, and we fought the first ruling," Duggan said. "The 4,500 people that are out there have been working hard. I've been trying my best."

"We got a bad ruling. We've been very clear and upfront about our arguments. The way that we interpreted the deadline was that it's the filing deadline," said Bryan Barnhill, Duggan's campaign manager.

Meanwhile, Mark Brewer, an attorney and former chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, said the ruling is not a surprise.

"These judges look at the text of the law. They're not interested in intent. They're not interested in what the drafters thought. The language is what it is," he said. "There are a lot of options here. He can appeal. Even if he doesn't win, there's a possibility of a write-in."

"Write-in candidacy in Michigan is very, very difficult, so I don't see a write-in as a practical option," Duggan said.

Duggan has said he will hold a news conference at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday to announce what he will do next.

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