Charlie LeDuff's name has showed up across the Gawker Media landscape plenty of times — for mocking Detroit's police response time, for allegedly biting a security guard's finger, for when he found a dead body in an ice bock, for writing a book about Detroit, and more.
LeDuff's name is now attached to today's episode of Detroit tomfoolery. Mike Duggan, who has spent the last few weeks building a so-called "long-shot" write-in campaign, has a new problem to deal with thanks to the former Times reporter.
After spending the initial part of the election cycle flailing, mostly due to litigious fellow candidate Tom Barrow, Duggan now has to campaign against another write-in candidate — Mike Dugeon. And reportedly, that's because of LeDuff.
The problem? Here's local ABC affiliate WXYZ:
Mike Dugeon, the newest write-in candidate in Detroit's mayoral primary election, says a TV reporter joked with him about entering the race against a candidate with a similar name. The reporter then went with him to the clerk's office to make it official.
Dugeon tells the station that LeDuff was on his door step at 9 a.m. this morning urging him to file the necessary paper work to enter the race.
The 31-year-old barber says the reporter told him, " 'Well wouldn't it be funny to see who would split the votes?'"
This could cause utter confusion for election employees counting ballots next month. Many questioned the ability of Duggan to pull off a win, some estimating he'd have to spend $1 million to educate voters on the process.
City Clerk Janice Winfrey told the Detroit Free Press that voters can spell variations of the write-in candidate's name, but would still count if their intent is clear. A list of names would be prepared that would be associated with the write-in candidate. So: Mike Dugan, Michael Duggon, perhaps Mike D, would have probably been fine.
With a Mike Dugeon now legitimately considered a candidate in the race, well, who the hell knows now?
Duggan's campaign manager told the Detroit Free Press that his team assumed Sheriff Benny Napoleon, widely believed to be the front-runner, was behind the scheme. Napoleon denied it, as did Barrow.
Here's a link to LeDuff's story from today, including a clip of an interview with Dugeon.
Update: LeDuff says nope. During last night's broadcast on Fox 2, LeDuff told other media outlets: "If they want to hitch themselves to my wagon, I suggest you work harder, they work harder instead of hiring pear-bottom, narrow-shouldered people. Just work."
(Youtube. Mike Dugeon interviewed by WXYZ Channel 7.)