Robert Davis is asking the Michigan Supreme Court to intervene in two matters involving Mike Duggan's Detroit mayoral candidacy. (David Coates / The Detroit News)
Union activist Robert Davis is asking the Michigan Supreme Court to intervene in two matters involving Mike Duggan’s Detroit mayoral candidacy — moves the Duggan campaign dismissed Thursday as legally illiterate.
The first case filed Thursday asks to throw out votes cast for Duggan, the former Detroit Medical Center CEO who won the Aug. 6 primary with 52 percent of the vote, because ballots for the Nov. 5 election were illegally printed and did not have the proper numbering or size. Davis also says absentee ballots should be thrown out because they were not properly approved by the city’s election commission.
A Wayne County Circuit Court ruled against Davis, but he appealed the ruling. It was on hold until a federal bankruptcy judge's ruling last week cleared the way for an appeal.
“The city clerk, the election commission and Mike Duggan have failed to follow the law again and as a result of their unlawful actions ... have resulted in these legal actions,” Davis said Thursday. “The votes that may be cast on ballots that have been unlawfully printed may not able to be counted under Michigan election law.”
That case cites a section of state election law that was repealed in the 1970s, said Melvin “Butch” Hollowell, legal counsel for the Duggan campaign.
In the other request, Davis is challenging whether Duggan should be a candidate because he did not file new nominating petitions after he was thrown off the primary ballot and then mounted a write-in campaign.Hollowell said state law only required that Duggan file a certificate of candidacy for his write-in effort, which he did.
“This is him trying to relitigate losses at the ballot box and in the courts, even if it means disenfranchising thousands of Detroit voters,” he said. “He is going nowhere with this.”
Wayne Circuit Court Judge Patricia Fresard has agreed to hold a Nov. 1 hearing, where the Duggan campaign is requesting that Davis be required to pay attorney's fees for his unsuccessful cases and a $25,000 cash bond if he wants to file another case in Wayne County, Hollowell said.
Davis “is in the cross-hairs because of his abuse of the judicial system,” he said.
Davis works for Michigan Local 25 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union that endorsed Duggan’s opponent, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. Davis said he would like the matters to be heard as early as Friday or Monday. It is unclear whether the court has decided to take up the cases.