Judge orders Duggan removed from Detroit mayoral ballot

Judge orders Duggan removed from Detroit mayoral ballot

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Mike Duggan Mike Duggan
DETROIT (WJBK) -

This could be a game changer for Detroit's mayoral election. Mike Duggan, who was considered a front runner, was yanked from the ballot after a judge said he was not a registered voter in the city for a year before he filed his nominating petitions. He fell just 14 days short.

"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. It will get reversed."

UPDATE: Duggan's officials say he'll make an announcement regarding the future of his mayoral campaign on Wednesday morning. FOX 2 will be there and provide updates throughout the day.

Opponent Tom Barrow and labor activist Robert Davis, who filed the lawsuit and won, applauded the judge's decision. They said Duggan could appeal, but it would be a waste of time and money. The judge followed the City Charter, which is very clear.

"He should know better. I've never heard of a former prosecutor violating the law so openly as what we saw here," Barrow said.

"What he was trying to ask the court to do was to read words into the provision of Detroit City Charter that simply did not exist," Davis said.

"I'm sure he'll go back to Livonia where he'll probably return to his community in a ticker tape parade, but he won't be on the ballot here in Detroit," Barrow said.

Will this impact his campaign? Barrow said no. Although polls have put Duggan and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napolean as leaders in the race for Detroit mayor, Barrow claimed he has his own internal polls and whether Duggan is in or out will not change the way he runs his race.

Will Duggan appeal? That remains to be seen.

"Our polling showed he was going to finish a distant third, and I believe he knows that. I believe his people know that. So it won't change our strategy," Barrow said.

"I've been busy campaigning, and I'm going to be a legal expert on this by the end of the night," Duggan said. "I'm going to make an informed decision, and we'll tell you [on Wednesday]."

Barrow first brought this to the attention of the Detroit Election Commission weeks ago. They voted 2 to 1 to certify Duggan for the ballot.

Barrow and Davis said they are prepared if there is an appeal.

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