Tom Barrow files petitions to join 2021 race for Detroit mayor


Detroit’s perennial mayoral candidate Tom Barrow has decided to join the 2021 race, saying, “It’s time for a real Detroit man.”

Barrow, 71, filed petitions with the clerk’s office on West Grand Boulevard Tuesday morning. He said he weighed a bid but ultimately decided to take a step forward after feeling like he hadn’t seen any other challenger to incumbent Mayor Mike Duggan who could “bring the energy”.

“I’m competent, I’m capable. I’m a Detroit citizen through and through,” Barrow told The News. “Detroit is in my DNA. Detroit is a city that I love and respect very much. People know that it is important to me that I look out for them and protect them and not allow them to be abused.”

Barrow submitted his petitions before the 4:00 p.m. Tuesday deadline for the August main election. He intends to hold a campaign announcement on Tuesday afternoon at the site of the former Kirkwood Negro Hospital in E. Kirby, now the Hellenic Museum of Michigan, where he was born.

He joins former Detroit Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams as one of the few known candidates to file signatures against Duggan, who, according to his campaign, filed his own petitions at the clerk’s office at Detroit City Hall early Tuesday morning.

When certified, it marks Barrow’s second run, with Duggan for mayor’s post and Barrow’s fifth run for office.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will submit his signatures for the 2021 Mayor's Race on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at the Detroit City Clerk's office.

Previously, he challenged Duggan in the 2013 race, raising the question of whether Duggan, who had moved to Detroit from Livonia, had met the residency requirements to appear on the Detroit ballot. A revised city charter passed by voters in 2012 stipulated that a candidate should be a resident and a registered voter “at the time of taking office” for one year.

Duggan was forced to run an enrollment campaign after being ruled ineligible by a court. But in the end he prevailed. Barrow unsuccessfully questioned the validity of some of the submissions that led to Duggan being the top voter in the August primary.

Barrow has challenged several past mayors, including Dave Bing and the late Coleman A. Young, who unsuccessfully ran for office in 1985, 1989 and 2009.

In the last election cycle, Barrow said on Tuesday, he “stepped down” in favor of Coleman A. Young II, who challenged Duggan. In 2017, Duggan sailed to victory over Young, a former senator who received more than 70% of the vote.

Barrow, a former practicing accountant, has led the Citizens for Detroit’s Future civic group and has been a watchdog and advocate for electoral reform.

Barrow, who runs under the “RealDetroiter” campaign banner, said his platform will revolve around “local pride” in the city, which he claims is recovering from a “fabricated” bankruptcy he claims it wrongly compromised Detroit retirement pensions and resulted in a long state-term lease of Belle Isle, a city gem.

Barrow said if elected he will consider options for restoring pensions, ending the water shutdown and creating a water affordability program for vulnerable residents.

He also wants to set up a panel “to review options and the appropriateness of the city’s bankruptcy,” impose a moratorium on city tax auctions and dismantle Detroit’s Land Bank Authority.

Barrow accused Duggan on Tuesday of not living in the Manoogian Mansion. But Duggan’s former chief of staff Alexis Wiley, who helps run the mayoral campaign, said Duggan lived and is living there on Tuesday.

In a statement to The News, Wiley said the allegations were the “kind of lies and hatred we learned from Tom Barrow and why he received less than 4% of the vote the last time he ran against the mayor.” 2013. “

Barrow argued after the August 2013 primary election that ballot papers were fraudulent. His claims led to a handwriting expert analysis linked to Duggan’s enrollment offer. The Wayne County Board of Canvassers shot down Barrow’s claims.

He also sought a recount of the November 3, 2009 election after losing to Bing by more than 19,000 votes. Barrow, who challenged the matter in court, argued that Bing was wrong to hold the title because ballots that were “deemed unrecountable or tainted were more than six times what it would take to change the election result” .

The Wayne County’s Board of Canvassers at the time decided that none of the 41,485 postal ballots would be recounted, and the board reverted to the original election results. Approximately 8,000 ballot papers personally cast in the districts were spoiled because the security seals on the ballot boxes failed to match. Barrow said another 9,000 are also determined to be “pampered”.

Barrow’s efforts to overturn the 2009 election included criminal investigations into election rigging that were denied by then Attorney General Mike Cox and Wayne County Attorney Kym Worthy. The FBI also denied a request for intervention.

Last August it was found that 72% of Detroit’s survey books were out of balance. This prevented them from being used when a 2020 recount was requested. The problems prompted the state to provide additional aid ahead of the November parliamentary elections.

Barrow said he believes stronger controls will allow for “uncomplicated and honest competition”.

Others, including Detroit’s former top attorney Sharon McPhail, have petitions for the race.

By Monday, Adams and former mayoral candidates Curtis Greene and Myya Jones had filed petitions. Others who submit signatures include Arthur Tyus, Emanuel Shaw, and Dallias Wilcoxon.

A final list of certified candidates will be provided as soon as possible or within seven to ten days after petitions have been submitted.

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Dusty Kennedy