FLINT, Mich. – A lawyer wants to enter his pet pig into the Flint mayoral race after a mix-up threated to keep candidates' names off the primary election ballot.
Michael Ewing started the "Giggles the Pig for Flint Mayor" effort after learning that the August primary could be skipped unless a judge intervenes and all candidates would have to file as write-ins for the November general election, The Flint Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1IUTZvC ).
Giggles' candidacy seeks to draw more attention to the mayoral race, better educate voters about their choices and encourage residents to demand more of elected officials, Ewing said. He plans to take his pig to the streets to let people meet Giggles.
"I don't want to turn it into a laughingstock," Ewing said. "I don't know how else to get people to pay attention."
State elections officials have said that Flint's clerk mistakenly told candidates that nominating petitions were due by April 28, but candidates later were told they missed the actual deadline by a week. State law doesn't permit a clerk to extend a deadline.
Mayoral candidate Karen Weaver called Giggles' candidacy and the deadline problem a "mockery of the democratic process.
"I didn't see any pig walking around getting signatures," Weaver said.
City councilman and mayoral candidate Wantwaz Davis also took issue with Giggles' campaign.
"Putting a pig in a race is an offense to the character and moral value we're trying to exemplify in the city," Davis said.
Last month, Gov. Rick Snyder declared an end to a financial emergency in Flint. The city has been run by four emergency managers since 2011 and control is being returned to local officials, although a five-member transition board will have a significant role.
"If we elect someone who is not up to the challenge, we'll be right back to the state of Michigan emergency manager again," Ewing said.
Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint