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October 30, 2013

Video: Estes asks forgiveness, won't resign

TRAVERSE CITY — Mayor Michael Estes will leave his future in the hands of voters.

Estes, during a brief press conference Wednesday morning, asked for voters' forgiveness following his arrest for drunken driving.

"I apologize for my actions and I can only say with the grace of God, the support of my friends and family, nothing similar to this will ever happen again," Estes said.

He announced his intention not to resign during a brief press conference at the Governmental Center in Traverse City. The video below shows his statement in full.

Estes, 63, was arrested Oct. 23 on his way home from a candidate forum and charged with first-offense drunken driving. He was widely favored to win re-election to a third term on Nov. 5 prior to his arrest.

Estes said he made a "serious mistake" that is an embarrassment to his family, friends, and the citizens of Traverse City. He said he plans to attend Monday's city commission meeting then wait for voters to cast the final ballot the following day.

“If elected on Nov. 5 I will do everything in my power to serve the citizens of Traverse City to the best of my ability,” Estes said. "I understand that forgiveness must be earned, and in time I am hopeful I will earn that forgiveness."

Estes did not take questions and said he will not discuss his arrest again outside of the legal process. He faces arraignment Monday morning.

A couple city commission members attended his announcement, including Commissioner Barbara Budros, who gave Estes a hug afterward.

"I'm glad he's staying," Budros said. "He's done great things for the city and I feel confident he'll do what needs to be done to make sure this doesn't happen again."

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