Write In Candiate For Detroit Mayor Winning (The White Guy)


DETROIT-The race for Detroit’s next mayor is shaping up as a battle between big business and big labor as the cash-poor city scrambles to emerge from bankruptcy.

Mike Duggan, a former hospital executive who staged a write-in campaign with the support of prominent corporate leaders, appears to have won the most votes in a primary contest Tuesday, according to preliminary results. He beat Benny Napoleon, a well-known county sheriff who had the backing of labor unions.

Associated Press Mike Duggan, who staged a write-in campaign with the support of executives, will take on union-backed Benny Napoleon in November.

County officials still need to confirm the results, which could be complicated by Mr. Duggan’s write-in candidacy. But if the results stand, Mr. Duggan and Mr. Napoleon will face off in a November general election.

Mr. Duggan, a former prosecutor who later led a turnaround at one of Detroit’s largest hospitals, staged a well-funded write-in effort after he was knocked off the ballot for a technical problem connected to his recent move to the city from a suburb. More than half of all voters-52.6%-wrote in their choice for mayor, and almost all of them picked Mr. Duggan. Mr. Napoleon received 29.6% of the votes cast. About 18% of registered voters turned out for the nonpartisan primary.

Supporters of Mr. Duggan included Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. and the family of real-estate developer A. Alfred Taubman, campaign records show. Mr. Duggan, 55 years old, raised more than $1 million in his campaign, with the largest chunk from contributors associated with Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, including several executives and the company’s political action committee, records show. Mr. Napoleon brought in about half of that.

“For Michigan to succeed, thrive and compete, our largest city, Detroit, must be viable and vibrant,” Matt Cullen, chief executive of Mr. Gilbert’s umbrella group of companies, real estate and investments, said in a statement Wednesday, calling Mr. Duggan “best suited to lead our city into the future.”

Mr. Napoleon, 57 years old, is sheriff of Wayne County, which includes Detroit, and previously served as head of the Detroit Police Department. Among his largest supporters are unions, including auto workers. A spokeswoman for the United Auto Workers didn’t return a request for comment.

Detroit’s next mayor will wield little real power at first. The city of about 700,000 was taken over in March by an emergency manager appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. On Wednesday, Mr. Snyder, a Republican, said he was encouraged that the majority of those who voted in the primary made the effort to write in their own candidate.

“I think it does show a level of commitment and interest from voters because if you think about it, that’s a much more difficult act,” Mr. Snyder said on the sidelines of an automotive-industry conference in northern Michigan.

If Mr. Duggan wins in November, he would be Detroit’s first white mayor in almost 40 years. More than 82% of city residents are African-American.



Going with the white guy to save Detroit....