CBS Detroit – It is now being reported by The Detroit Free Press that Wayne County Judge candidate Nicholas Bobak Hathaway has lost against Chandra Baker. Originally in the unofficial count, Hathaway was in the lead by just .07%. However, when on Tuesday, county canvassers completed their count, he lost his race by .04%.
The 2020 election is proving to be a rollercoaster, and the Wayne County Board of Canvassers made national news when they couldn’t agree to certify the vote in Wayne County. Then suddenly agreed to finalize the vote. In the process of it all, Bobak Hathaway was able to win by the slimmest of margins… until the County Board of Canvassers noticed something.
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According to Jonathon Kinloch, Vice Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, he told The Detroit Free Press that they saw something was wrong. Unofficial vote totals showed Bobak Hathaway was second with 247,251 votes behind Chandra Baker’s 246,620 votes. Unofficially Bobak beat Baker by 631 or .07%. However, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers noticed some absentee ballots from Detroit were not entered into the system. As some counting boards in Detroit were reporting zero absentee ballots cast.
In the process of reviews, Kinloch says they discovered thousands of votes not being cast, adding 14,130 to the total cast in the judicial race by the time they were done. Those extra votes swung the race to make Chandra Baker the winner by 371 votes or .04%. Quite a narrow victory.
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Bobak Hathaway was also in the news before the election for adding his wife’s name, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Dana Hathaway to his surname. There was much criticism by others who accused him of trying to win on his wife’s name. As there are four Hathaways in the Wayne County Circuit Court.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Bobak Hathaway has a storied past. As he tried suing Wayne County Circuit Court for discriminating against him as a white man. While working as a Wayne County Juvenile Court referee, he was accused of lying and laziness, and many in this election are saying that his name change goes against a State Bar of Michigan opinion that “a judicial candidate should campaign under the candidate’s full name so as to avoid any mistaken identity.” Even before the vote totals were in on Tuesday, Chandra Baker and political activist, Robert Baker had planned on challenging Bobak Hathaway’s right to take office for failing to list his full legal name on the Affidavit of Identity all candidates must file when they run for public office.
On Monday, Baker told the Free Press, “I just want to make sure that things were done properly and I want to give the courts an opportunity to look at it. And whatever they decide they decide.” After the strange turn of events from the Board of Canvassers, Baker said, “I didn’t know how it would work out, I just figured it would work out.”
Robert Baker said he’s waiting to learn if Bobak Hathaway will request a recount. According to Kinloch, in his 31 years in politics, he told the Free Press he had never seen a race flip like this one.
Former Michigan Supreme Court Judge and former chief judge of Wayne County Circuit Court, Mary Beth Kelly won the election 279,106 or 27.69% of votes cast in the race.
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