Estes still seeking re-election as mayor
In a press conference Wednesday morning, current Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes asked the voters to consider his re-election bid in the November 5 election.
Estes announced Tuesday that he would hold a press conference to discuss his political future after his drunk driving arrest last Wednesday.
"This truly embarrassing issue in my life is that I let down so many people," Estes told the media. "My wife, my family, my friends, and the good citizens of Traverse City and our surrounding community. I vow to become a better person. I will work at that goal for the all days of my life."
"If elected on November 5 I will do everything in my power to serve the citizens of Traverse City to the best of my ability," Estes said. "My determination and commitment to serve the best interests of our citizens remain as strong as ever."
Estes was arrested on the evening of October 23 after an officer spotted his car crossing the center line and riding in a bike lane. He reportedly failed multiple in-field sobriety tests and eventually blew a .120 BAC and was arrested for operating while intoxicated, first offense.
Estes, 63, was held at the Grand Traverse County Jail and posted bond early the following morning.
Some City Commissioners and the public have urged Estes to continue his bid for re-election, saying that it does not affect the way he does his job as mayor.
â??I've been supportive of him not resigning personally because I don't think this offense is something that's resignable or something he needs to resign for because I don't think we should demonize our substance abusers. I think we should work with them to help them into recovery and support their recovery efforts,â?? said Jim Carruthers, Traverse City Commissioner.
Following his arrest last week, Mayor Estes released the following statement:
"I deeply regret my actions that led to my drunk driving arrest on Oct. 23. My actions are an embarrassment to my family and the office of mayor of Traverse City. I apologize to all and accept all the consequences of my actions. For my poor behavior I am taking the appropriate corrections and working with my friends and family to improve myself as a human being. To my surprise my wife, family, friends and individuals I have never met have all encouraged me to continue in my role as mayor, however, that decision is still pending. Again, I apologize to all and realize forgiveness must be earned and takes a great deal of time."
Estes added that voters who may have voted by absentee ballot and wish to re-vote can ask for a new ballot from the city clerk.
In this election season Mayor Estes' opponents are keeping a tight lip on his recent arrest.
â??I'm just staying out of it. He made a mistake and he'll have to go through due process,â?? said Traverse City Mayoral Candidate Rick Buckhalter.
John Reid is running for a seat on the city commission and is also a write-in candidate for mayor and said in a statement â??I applaud Mr. Estes for apologizing. The voters have the ability to decide.â??
Estes is currently scheduled to be in court November 4 for an arraignment.