24 People Are Running for Mayor in Today’s Detroit Primary

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24 People Are Running for Mayor in Today’s Detroit Primary

Now that Detroit has undergone a state takeover, the mayor has become the city’s second most powerful office. But that’s all the more reason to watch today’s mayoral primary.

Detroit mayoral write-in candidate Mike Duggan at a campaign breakfast in May. Credit: Barbara Barefield on Flickr

Polls are open in Detroit today for the city’s mayoral primaries. Latecomers in the Wayne County seat, head to your voting places!

While bankruptcy has continuously overshadowed updates from the campaign, it has also made the campaign more complex and uncertain. The next mayor won’t simply have to come armed with a plan to help a struggling city, but also have an adjoining strategy for how to work from an office that’s been effectively relegated to an advisory status.

Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager who appeared on the scene back in March, is now the city’s top executive power and nothing can be enacted without his approval. Candidates have differed on how they would deal with these out-of-ordinary municipal circumstances.

According to the Detroit Free Press, mayoral aspirant Fred Durhal, Jr., a state representative, has expressed that he would work within Orr’s constraints. Others, including candidate Krystal Crittendon, a city attorney, have taken more dramatic stances. “We need the right mayor to do everything necessary to get Mr. Orr out of here, or we will wake up and the city as we know it will be gone,” Crittendon told the Free Press.

There are currently 14 names on the ballot, plus another 10 write-in candidates. To make matters more tedious, the two write-in candidates — Mike Duggan and Mike Dugeon — share similar names. (Many believe Dugeon, a barber with no prior political experience, entered the race solely to provoke voter confusion. According to WXYZ, the local ABC affiliate, Dugeon headed to the clerk’s office after noted TV reporter Charlie LeDuff joked about the closeness of his and Duggan’s names.)

If the write-in candidates swing enough votes, it could slow down the tally and take days before Detroit has accurate results.

Both The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press have endorsed Duggan, a prosecutor and former CEO of the Detroit Medical Center.

You can view a list of all 24 candidates here. Frontrunners include Duggan, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, accountant Tom Barrow (running for mayor for the fourth time) and former state representative Lisa Howze.

Despite Detroit’s many troubles, the most looming issue facing its next mayor will be contending with the state takeover. For a primer on the events that led to the takeover, check out our roundup of Detroit stories that have appeared on Next City. We’ll also cover the results of the primary, but that might take a minute.

Cassie Owens is a regular contributor to Next City. Her writing has also appeared at CNN.com, Philadelphia City Paper and other publications.

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Tags: detroitmayorsbankruptcy2013 mayoral racesmike duggan

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