Politics & Government
9:39 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

No surprise: Mike Duggan is running for Detroit mayor

Mike Duggan talks with supporters at his campaign kickoff rally
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It’s not a surprise, but it is official: Mike Duggan wants to be Detroit’s next mayor.

Duggan was CEO of the Detroit Medical Center until recently. He’s spent the last few months laying the groundwork for a mayoral run.

At an official campaign kickoff Tuesday evening, Duggan touted his credentials as a turnaround artist in both the public and private sectors.

He told the crowd Governor Snyder shouldn’t appoint an emergency manager for Detroit, because that won't solve the city's financial problems.

And he says even if the Governor does appoint one, he'll be ready to challenge the appointment if he's elected mayor.

"We’re going to bring the talents of this community together," Duggan said. "And we’re going to put together such a powerful turnaround team, that we'll go to the Governor in a positive way and say, ‘We don’t need an emergency manager.'"

Duggan has been a longtime player in Detroit politics, though he only moved to the city recently. He’s lined up some influential supporters, including ministers, two former Detroit police chiefs, and business leaders.

Duggan’s run has drawn a lot of attention, in part because he’s the first white candidate for Detroit mayor in decades.

Duggan didn’t address that directly, though he--and some of his African-American supporters--said his candidacy "shouldn't be about color."

Duggan did say that Detroit should be open to anyone who wants to help rebuild the city: “Whether you were born in this city or you were born in another country, if you want to come to Detroit to be part of our future, you are just as welcome as anybody else.”

Despite the likely appointment of an emergency manager--and a very uncertain future for Detroit's elected officials--the mayor's race has gotten rather crowded.

In addition to Duggan, former State Representatives Lisa Howze and Fred Durhal are running, as is former Detroit corporation counsel Krystal Crittendon. Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon is also widely expected to jump in the race.

And Detroit mayor Dave Bing has so far refused to say whether he'll seek re-election.