Get used to saying "Mayor Duggan," because former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan is the new mayor-elect of Detroit.
Despite being a Detroit resident for just over a year--and having to launch a write-in campaign after getting tossed off the primary ballot--Duggan coasted to victory over Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. He won about 55% of the vote.
Duggan is stepping to the forefront after decades spent behind the scenes in Detroit politics. He takes the helm of a city seeking Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, and where an emergency manager will make the final decisions in city government for nearly another year.
Duggan says he’ll spend these next few transition weeks putting together a cabinet, and building relationships with key players.
“I’m going to be rebuilding relationships with the [City] Council, and I’m going to be building relationships with the emergency manager and the Governor," Duggan said. "I’m not really going to worry about what relationship they had in the past...I’m going to focus on the relationship we’re building going forward.”
Organized labor largely supported Duggan’s opponent, Benny Napoleon. But Duggan says he’ll also work to “re-build a relationship of mutual respect” there.
“We’re going back to the days of the unions being part of the solution, and not always being blamed for the problem," he said.
Duggan also sounded notes of racial reconciliation in his acceptance speech. He’s Detroit’s first white mayor in 40 years.
Emergency manager Kevyn Orr congratulated Duggan, and said the two would meet in the coming days.
Governor Snyder also offered congratulations, and said that Duggan’s “financial acumen” and turnaround experience should serve him well as Detroit mayor.