More claims of election violations leveled at Detroit mayoral candidate Mike Duggan

lisa howze press picAnother Detroit mayoral candidate is calling for city election officials to remove Mike Duggan from the ballot, this time on allegations that the former Wayne County prosecutor violated the election law on circulating petitions.

State Rep. Lisa Howze, among the four leading mayoral candidates, said Duggan and fellow candidate Tom Barrow failed to properly circulate petitions for candidacy.

“I am challenging the legitimacy of Mr. Duggan’s candidacy on the grounds that he solicited petition signatures for nomination to the Office of Mayor at a time when he was not eligible to be nominated,” Howze said. “Any and all signatures obtained prior to the one-year anniversary date of Mr. Duggan becoming a qualified registered voter of the Ciy of Detroit should be rendered null and void. Mr. Duggan should be disqualified as a candidate for mayor and promptly removed from the August 6thPrimary ballot.”

Howze’s allegations are similar – but not identical – to those made by perennial candidate Barrow. Both contend Duggan, who moved to the city last year, is ineligible to run because he was not a registered voter long enough in Detroit.

According to the city charter, “A person seeking elective office must be a citizen of the United States, a resident and a qualified registered voter of the City of Detroit for one year at the time of filing for office and retain that status throughout their tenure in any such elective office.”

Howze is asking the city clerk and Detroit Election Commission to remove both candidates from the Aug. 6 primary ballot.

“As for Mr. Barrow, by his own admission during an interview on Thursday, April 25, 2013 on Fox 2 News Let It Rip, he stated that he had obtained all petition signatures in one day during the 2012 presidential election held on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.  According to sources at the Detroit City Clerk’s office, candidates running for office in the 2013 election were not allowed to circulate petitions any sooner than 180 days before the May 14, 2013 filing deadline. Therefore, the earliest date to circulate petitions for the Office of Mayor would have been Nov. 16, 2012.  If indeed, 100 percent of the signatures submitted by Mr. Barrow on April 25, 2013 had been obtained 10 days prematurely on Nov. 6, 2012, then all signatures should be rendered null and void and the City Clerk and Detroit Election Commission should promptly remove Mr. Barrow from the August 6th Primary ballot,” Howze wrote in a press release.

Howze, a certified public accountant, said this is more than a fishing expedition.

“The integrity of the democratic process must be upheld at all times.  The law should be applied equally to both Mr. Duggan and Mr. Barrow without exception,” Howze said.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.