'I'm profoundly disappointed': Warren Mayor Jim Fouts responds after court rules he cannot run for 5th term

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts responded Thursday after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that he cannot run for a fifth term.

He held a press conference that began with him discussing his accomplishments as mayor and dedication to the job before moving into his thoughts about the ruling.

"Obviously I'm profoundly disappointed because of the many, many lawsuits the (city) council has sued us for," Fouts said. "The ruling yesterday disappointed me, was a profound disappointment because it already basically solidified the manipulation process of the election."

He said the voters should decide if he is elected mayor again, not the courts.

"I have never lost any election for four decades, going back to when I got elected to the city council," he said.

Fouts has been a longtime figure in the Macomb County city's politics, serving as its mayor since 2007. His term will end following the November election this year. So far, six candidates are running in the city's primary in August. 

The decision came following a protracted legal disagreement between the mayor and the city council over whether Fouts was eligible to run for re-election. He scored a legal victory earlier this year when a circuit court judge upheld a decision from the election commission that he could run again.

A Macomb County Circuit Court Judge validated that decision before a Court of Appeals reversed it.

Fouts responded that he was "cautiously confident" that the state Supreme Court would reverse the decision again, in a statement last April.

The lawsuits stem from an amendment to the city charter that was approved by voters in 2020 that limited elected officials to three terms. Fouts said he believed this was targeting him.

"Sixty-eight percent of the voters passed this term limit proposal and made it part of our charter, and right now we are on the cusp of change in Warren," said City Council President Patrick Green, who is running to replace Fouts. "I think everybody's excited about it. I'm excited about it. And I think that people are looking for all the good work that the mayor has done and building on that in the future."

Fouts said Thursday that he was done trying to appeal the decision "unless someone comes up with something."

He said he will instead focus on getting someone elected who will represent all citizens.