Mike Duggan kicked off his bid to become Detroit's next mayor Tuesday night as several hundred supporters packed an east-side gym for the formal announcement.
"We're going to make a commitment to an administration where every neighborhood has a future," Duggan told the enthusiastic and diverse crowd at the Samaritan Center on Conner near I-94. He touted 74 meetings he has had with residents across the city, an experience he called among the most meaningful in his life. "This is the city that I love, and this is why I'm running for mayor."
Duggan, the former CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, also is a former Wayne County prosecutor. He moved into the city's Palmer Woods neighborhood last year from Livonia.
He has acknowledged that he will spend a lot of his campaign convincing Detroiters that he is not just an outsider, but a fighter who will use his experience turning around troubled institutions to restore the city's finances and improve shoddy public services as the city stares at the likely appointment of an emergency financial manager by Gov. Rick Snyder.
The Rev. Jim Holley of Detroit's Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church said no other candidate has the experience Duggan has turning around troubled entities, including a nearly bankrupt DMC.
-- Rochelle Riley: Mike Duggan announces candidacy for mayor of Detroit
Holley invoked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s intonation not to judge by skin color but by a person's character; Duggan would be the first white mayor of the heavily African-American city in nearly 40 years.
"I believe Mike Duggan is the best to lead this city out of this depression," Holley said, before he gave an opening prayer. "He's seen the pain of the neighborhoods. It has moved him with passion and purpose."
Former Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon, who emceed the event, asked the crowd who is best suited to stabilize the city, get streetlights fixed, get more police and firefighters on the streets, make sure trash is picked up, and bring back retail shopping? To each question, "Mike Duggan" was the chanted response.
The intensity in the race for the office is picking up. Former state Rep. Lisa Howze, D-Detroit; Detroit's former top city attorney Krystal Crittendon; state Rep. Fred Durhal Jr., D-Detroit, and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon are declaring their candidacy or weighing bids.
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