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Detroit is having a race for mayor, but it's been subdued so far

Aug 7, 2017

We should know by Tuesday night which candidates will vie for Detroit mayor in this November's election.

The top two vote-getters will move on from tomorrow’s primary.

First-term incumbent Mike Duggan is seen as the heavy favorite right now. He’s running for re-election on a kind of “good start” platform.

Duggan points to his success in boosting basic city services and restoring a general sense of competence and fiscal discipline to city government in post-bankruptcy Detroit. Duggan is also proud of having demolished more than 11,000 blighted properties across the city, with plans to eventually demolish a total 40,000 blighted buildings.

But Duggan has some major critics who point out his failure to do much to stop mass water shutoffs and property tax foreclosures. There’s also an ongoing federal investigation into city demolition contracts under Duggan’s administration, as well as questions about how safely those demolitions have been performed.

Former state representative Coleman Young II is widely seen as Duggan’s chief challenger, though the two have waged a fairly low-key battle so far. Young says the Duggan administration has favored big-money interests and the city’s downtown over the neighborhoods where the vast majority of Detroiters live.

“You know, it’s a shame before God that we have billions of dollars flowing through downtown, and you’ve got this many people who are struggling for work. It’s just shameful,” Young said.

Besides Duggan and Young, there are six other mayoral candidates on the ballot, and at least one person waging a write-in campaign.