DETROIT – A Wayne County judge agreed with candidate Tom Barrow that when Mike Duggan filed his petitions for Detroit mayor he had not lived in the city a full year. He was shy by two weeks.
Duggan's team says the date that should be used as a benchmark is the May 14 filing deadline, not when Duggan turned in his petitions in April.
"I was shocked. I've never heard of anybody being removed from the ballot for filing petitions two weeks early," Duggan said. "All I can tell you is the lawyers say it's a terrible ruling and it will get reversed."
The Detroit Election Commission sided with Duggan. However, Judge Lita M. Popke is siding with Barrow who went to court after the city clerk and Election Commission turned him down.
Barrow is simply delighted.
"Now I'm sure he'll go back to Livonia, and he'll probably return to his community in a ticker tape parade, but he won't be on the ballot here in Detroit," said Barrow.
Duggan's attorneys are telling him he will prevail at the Court of Appeals. That's something campaign law experts tell Local 4 they tend to agree with. At worst, they give Duggan 50/50 odds of making it back on the ballot.
Should Duggan exit the Detroit mayoral race by choice or by force, it would definitely change the dynamic and give Wayne County Sheriff and candidate Benny Napoleon an early present.
Duggan had discussions with his legal advisors Tuesday night but says he wants to wade through the decision and case law himself. He expects to have a decision by Wednesday morning.