Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said the number of write-in votes in Detroit’s primary demonstrate a high interest level in the race for mayor, even as the position has been sidelined by an emergency manager.
The results “show there are obviously a lot of citizens that really care,” Snyder told reporters today after speaking at the Center for Automotive Research’s annual Management Briefing Seminars near Traverse City, Michigan.
Unofficial results from the Detroit city clerk’s office, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, was 48,641 write-in ballots, led by Mike Duggan, former chief executive officer of the Detroit Medical Center, and 27,490 for Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.
Detroit entered the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy on July 18. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, whom Snyder appointed, is trying to deal with $11.5 billion in unsecured debt while improving city services.
The primary’s results show “democracy in action,” Snyder, a Republican, said. The mayor’s position is “clearly relevant,” he said. “It’s important to have elected officials in the community.”
Duggan was forced to run a write-in campaign for the primary because he was ruled ineligible for the ballot under residency requirements in the city charter, though he moved into the city from a Detroit suburb in 2012.
Snyder said today he probably won’t endorse a candidate in the race.
The case is City of Detroit, 13-bk-53846, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit).