Former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan, who was forced to run as a write-in candidate after a judge ruled he hadn’t lived in the city long enough to qualify for the ballot, placed first on the 16-way ballot anyway.
Supporters applaud Detroit mayoral candidate Mike Duggan after he addressed the media at his campaign headquarters in Detroit, Wednesday, June 12, 2013. (Photo by Carlos Osorio/AP)
Someone didn’t tell Mike Duggan that a write-in campaign is supposed to be hard.
The former Detroit Medical Center CEO, who was forced to run as a write-in candidate after a judge ruled he hadn’t lived in the city long enough to qualify for the ballot, placed first on the 16-way ballot anyway. Now, Duggan will face Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon in the November runoff to lead the now-bankrupt Motor City.
According to the Detroit News, unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary showed write-in votes getting 53% of the vote, while Napoleon took 30% to place a solid second, with other candidates languishing in single digits. Duggan’s unlikely write-in bid was hit with a bit of uncertainty after another similarly-named candidate, a barber named Mike Dugeon, threw his name into the race. But city officials said nearly all of the write-in ballots were written correctly for Duggan, who was the heavy frontrunner before he was thrown off the ballot, and was the leading fundraiser in the race, too.
Duggan even released an old-fashioned jingle to help voters remember his surname–remember the ‘GG’ it sang. The Detroit News also noted that Duggan’s ground game was impressive, and helped give him the final boost..
Given how well he did without even his name on the ballot, Duggan, who would be the majority black city’s first white mayor in nearly four decades, heads into the fall contest as a heavy favorite. The two will face-off for the right to succeed outgoing Mayor Dave Bing, who decided not to seek another term leading the floundering city.
But whoever wins will have limited power to deal with the city’s financial recover–for now. Detroit was taken over earlier this year by the state and placed under the control of appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr. For now, Orr is in charge of any major financial decision and hiring staff, but all the candidates have criticized the power he wields.
(Listen to the Mike Duggan campaign jingle below.)