Tags: Detroit | Duggan | white | mayor

Detroit Set to Elect First White Mayor in 40 Years

Image: Detroit Set to Elect First White Mayor in 40 Years Detroit mayoral candidates Mike Duggan, left, and Benny Napoleon.

Saturday, 02 Nov 2013 07:14 PM

By Andrea Billups

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Former CEO Mike Duggan is set to become Detroit's first white mayor in four decades.

Duggan, who resigned his post leading Detroit Medical Center to make a run for mayor of the besieged Motor City, is outpolling his opponent, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, by a 2-1 margin, the Detroit Free Press reported, citing its own poll with television station WYXZ-TV.

Another poll taken Oct. 24-26 by the Lansing-based pollster EPIC-MRA found Duggan would take 50 percent of citywide votes to 26 for Napoleon, the Free Press, which endorsed Duggan, reported.

Duggan's commanding lead over a black candidate shows the city's move away from the racial identity politics of its past and an embrace of new leadership as the once-proud city with a historic musical and automotive legacy fights its way out of a culture of political and financial malfeasance and amid a takeover by an emergency financial manager.

The mayoral candidates — both Democrats — faced off in a heated final debate last week over vision and direction for the city, which is seeking to relieve itself of $18.5 billion in debt, marking the largest municipal bankruptcy case in United States history, the Detroit News reported.

Duggan as been endorsed by the Free Press, Metro Times and a coalition of city clergy. while Napoleon has been endorsed by several key labor groups, including the UAW.

The city, which is 83 percent black, has had a black mayor in place since Coleman Young took over in 1974. Its current mayor is NBA great and auto industry executive Dave Bing who decided against a run for a second full term.

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