Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced a run for a third term, a stretch not seen since Coleman Young held the office for five terms.

Duggan declared his intentions Wednesday on a Facebook live stream that can be watched here.  He was joined by an impressive group of supporters. Among them were Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Detroit NAACP head the Rev. Wendell Anthony, former city health office director Dr.  Abdul El-Sayed and a half-dozen residents and community leaders, all of whom praised Duggan’s first two terms  in a recorded video.

YouTube video

Duggan touted his track record on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic; his previous focus on bolstering basic city services; the ability to woo major employers like the new FCA_Jeep plant and Ford Motor Co.’s plans for Michigan Central Station and Corktown, and his commitment to affordable housing. 

Duggan, 62, was first elected Detroit’s mayor in 2013. He is Detroit’s first white mayor since Roman Gribbs, who served from 1970 to 1974,  when the city was majority white. Detroit’s primary is in August and the general election is November.  Beside mayor, City Council positions will also be on the ballot. 

Absent in Wednesday’s campaign rally was any mention of Duggan’s ongoing disputes with local leaders of the Black Lives Matter marches over police reform.  Nor was there any mention of the criticism Duggan faces for his use of tax incentives to lure major developments and whether enough is being to save neighborhoods — both of which are part of the never-ending debate about development in the city.  

Duggan is the first to formally declare himself a candidate for mayor.  State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, whose term ends this year, told Crain’s Detroit Business she is stil considering a run. Lawyer Anthony Adams, a former deputy Mayor in the Kwame Kilpatrick administration, has formed a committee exploring a run. Adams remains undecided, he said in Thursday press release. 

Here are some key issues that the mayor has faced during his tenure: 

Water shutoffs

Shutting off water in Detroiters’ homes due to lack of payment has been a years-long controversy for the Duggan administration—the United Nations in 2014 declared the practice as “contrary to human rights.” This week, Duggan unveiled a ban on water shutoffs until 2022 while the city seeks a permanent solution. 

In 2019, Bridge Michigan took a look at  key trends about Detroit such as population, median income, crime rates since Duggan took office in 2013. 

COVID-19 and deep budget cuts

Duggan has generally received high marks for the city’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The medical crisis brings with it severe tax revenue losses for city services. 

Black Lives Matter and police issues

Duggan has defended peoples right to march, but he’s also constantly sided with Detroit Police as tensions grew between police and protesters.  Here’s a June story about Duggan’s stance about the use of facial recognition technology and mass surveillance by the Detroit Police.

Louis Aguilar is BridgeDetroit’s senior reporter. He covered business and development for the Detroit News, and is a former reporter for the Washington Post.

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