DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Elections Commission has certified Mike Duggan’s candidacy for Mayor of Detroit.
Thursday’s vote comes after fellow mayoral candidate Tom Barrow said Duggan should be disqualified because he was not a registered voter at the time he sent in his nominating petitions to run for the office.
Commissioner and City Council President Charles Pugh voted against certifying Duggan, but was outvoted by City Clerk Janice Winfrey and city attorney Edward Keelean.
Pugh said the issue wasn’t about Duggan’s qualifications, but whether he met city election law.
“The reality is, he was not living in the city or registered to vote for a year when he filed to run for mayor,” Pugh said.
Duggan said the vote was exactly as he’d expected.
some of my opponents don’t want to run against the other candidates and they try to do trickery and knock people off the ballot,” Duggan said. “… the Elections Commission did the right thing.”
Barrow responded in a statement out later Thursday: “The Charter Commission deliberated and took in testimony on this very important issue of residency yet two people, both conflicted and one even unelected, just turned their work into shreds.”
“The ruling is contradictory,” Barrow added. “Allowing the wealthy Mike Duggan onto the ballot due to a technicality, but keeping the other candidates off using the same voter registration requirement.”
Overall, of the 23 candidates for mayor of Detroit, 15 were approved and eight were disqualified. Of the 80 candidates for Detroit City Council, 54 were approved.
Duggan said he’s running for the office to reduce crime and bring strong financial management to the city. Also on his “to-do” list: fix broken streetlights, and bring more people into Detroit’s vacant but habitable homes.
Duggan, the former CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon have been the leaders in early polls.
Incumbent Mayor Dave Bing has said he won’t run for re-election.