Mike Duggan, Benny Napoleon take Detroit's mayoral primary - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Mike Duggan, Benny Napoleon take Detroit's mayoral primary

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Benny Napoleon versus Mike Duggan. Benny Napoleon versus Mike Duggan.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The most interesting thing about Wednesday's Wayne County Board of Canvassers meeting was the audience.

Former mayoral candidate Tom Barrow, activist Robert Davis, and Mike Duggan's attorneys were all in the audience listening closely to a meeting that appeared to be all procedure and no fireworks.

The board chose a date to consider the variations of names on write-in ballots, but that won't make much difference because Tuesday night Detroiters proved they know how to spell Duggan.

"During that review process, you could see over the shoulder of the election workers that Detroiters had very clearly and cleanly written the name Mike D-u-g-g-a-n with almost no mistakes whatsoever," said Duggan campaign attorney Butch Hollowell.

The write-in candidate walked away with and unprecedented 44,000 votes. Sheriff Benny Napoleon came in second with a little more than 28,000 votes.

"We have an opportunity now to analyze the final numbers. We're very happy with where we are after taking a look at the final breakdown. So, no, I'm not concerned at all," said Napoleon.

"People in the city want change, and they want somebody who's not attacking the other guys, who's just talking about working together, and I think they appreciated the positive campaign," Duggan said.

However, there are others who say the results were less about Duggan's message and more about his money.

"The real answer is the extraordinary amount of money that was spent by the Duggan campaign. Between Mike Duggan and his super PAC, they spent well over $2.5 million. I believe it will end up being close to $3 million. They outspent all the other candidates by at least four to one," said Mark Brewer, former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party and Napoleon supporter.

"Part of the process of politics is to raise the money in order to get your message out, and remember we had to start in a place where we had to educate the voters on how to do a write-in. That is a massively incredible undertaking," Hollowell said.

The legal challenges aren't over. Davis is taking his case challenging Duggan's eligibility to run as a write-in to the Court of Appeals.

"Now it's time for the Detroiters to wake up and realize who the true Mike Duggan is," the activist said. "We're very confident as it relates to the Court of Appeals addressing that particular challenge as it relates to his legality of being able to run as a write-in."

"That's just a harassing and delaying kind of stunt that we just think is not appropriate at this time, but we'll defend the case, and I'm sure we'll prevail without much difficulty," said a Duggan attorney.

Bottom line, the general election is a whole new ball game, and both candidates are ready for some serious work.

"It's now a two person race, so it will be much more focused on the two candidates," Brewer said. "The polling between the two of them was relatively even, and I think that's where it's going to be. I think we're in for a very competitive general election, and the result could go either way."

The next phase of campaigning really begins now. Duggan has a house party scheduled for Wednesday evening, and Napoleon has events scheduled, as well.

Detroit Mayoral Primary Results
Last Update: Aug. 07, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Precincts Reporting: 100%
 WINCANDIDATES  VOTES% 
 
     Write-in "Mike Duggan"      44,395 46%  
  Benny N. Napoleon      28,532 30%  
  Write-in Other      5,916 6%  
  Krystal Crittendon      5,295 5%  
  Lisa L. Howze      4,581 5%  
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