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Michigan Court of Appeals rules Warren Mayor Jim Fouts can't run for a fifth term

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts
City of Warren

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that Jim Fouts, Warren's four-term mayor, can't run for a fifth term.

The court says that's because voters approved a charter amendment in 2020 that limits mayors to four terms.

Fouts argues the amendment language is unclear if it applies to sitting mayors, so he should be able to run.

He said he's not angry about the Court of Appeals decision, but he is disappointed, and he questioned the objectivity of some of the members of the court.

He said it's likely the case will be appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court.

"There are many things that I would like to accomplish," Fouts said. "And if I'm given the opportunity to run in the November election, that will be my focus."

The development of a downtown for Warren is his top priority, he said.

Fouts said polls that his campaign commissioned show him with 70% support among Warren voters.

"So I have no doubt that I would have been the odds on favorite to win election in November."

Ron Papandrea, one of two pro-Fouts members of Warren's city council, agrees that Fouts would have easily won. But he is not sure an appeal will be successful, because the decision by the Court of Appeals was unanimous.

Papandrea had already filed to run for mayor before the decision was handed down. He said he would have asked voters who supported him to vote for Fouts, had Fouts' arguments been upheld by the Court of Appeals.

If he wins, Papandrea said he'll make sure this is not the last Warren voters will see of Fouts.

"I will hire Mayor Fouts to work in the Mayor's office as Deputy Mayor," he said.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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