DETROIT (WWJ) – It looks like Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan is ready to officially enter the race to become the next mayor of Detroit.
The former Wayne County Prosecutor recently moved to the city’s Palmer Woods neighborhood and on Wednesday, Duggan filed paperwork to form an exploratory committee – which then lets him raise campaign money.
“People across the city have been wonderful in their encouragement,” Duggan said in a statement. “This is the final step in evaluating whether to make the commitment and formally launch a campaign for Mayor of Detroit.”
Speaking to WWJ’s Florence Walton, Duggan, 54, said he’ll make a decision on whether or not he’ll run for mayor by the end of the year.
“Over the next 90 days, we’re going to do an analysis across the city as to whether there’s enough support for me to be elected mayor. We have a ton of volunteers, we’re going to be having between 25 and 30 house parties where people invite their friends over for coffee and it gives me a chance to meet people, and at the end of those 90 days I’m going to sit down with my supporters again and we’re going to make a decision,” he said.
Duggan said he’s motivated by his belief that Detroit can be a better place.
“Really, what triggered this is what’s been happening just in the last few weeks, you know, 32 people murdered in the first two weeks of September. It’s a rate of violence like we’ve not seen in many years. And then you hear that there’s a plan for the streetlights to finally get fixed, but it collapsed with problems in Lansing. There was a plan to fix Belle Isle, but that collapsed with a problem in City Council,” he said.
Members of Duggan’s exploratory committee include Conrad Mallett (committee chairman), Tupac Hunter (campaign director), Bryan Barnhill (campaign manager) and Rebecca Williams (campaign treasurer).
The formation of the committee was a legal necessity, since Michigan law requires a committee be established in order to receive or spend money, even at the exploratory stage.
State Rep. Lisa Howze already has announced her candidacy in the race, which takes place in 2013. Current Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has hinted that he might run for re-election, although there hasn’t been any official announcement.
If elected, Duggan would be the city’s first white mayor since Roman Gribbs, who served from 1970 until 1974.
“Once I start talking about how to get people into the abandoned houses in the neighborhoods, how to get the streetlights on and how to get the violence down, the race issue goes away quickly,” said Duggan.
“I’m not seeing (race) as an issue in my interactions. I’ll go into any neighborhood in the city and so far at least, I come out with a group of people supporting me. So, I’m not talking about the race issue. I’m talking about how we rebuild our neighborhoods and that seems to cut across all lines,” he continued.