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Poll: 50% Of Detroiters Would Support A White Candidate For Mayor

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Mike Duggan (credit: dmc.org)

Mike Duggan (credit: dmc.org)

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LANSING (WWJ) – A new statewide survey is out on the potential for a white mayor in the city of Detroit.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports registered voters were questioned after reports surfaced that Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan was interested in the job.

Fifty percent of Detroiters said yes — that Detroiters would vote for a white mayoral candidate; 25 percent said they wouldn’t; and 25 percent were unsure.

LE&A/Denno Research, the bi-partisan public relations firm that conducted the survey reported that 43 percent of African-Americans polled statewide  said they thought Detroiters would vote for a white candidate, while 36 percent of African-Americans thought Detroiters would not. Only 19 percent of whites thought Detroiters would vote for a white candidate and 40 percent thought they would not.

The firm also polled suburban voters.

“Interestingly, when you step across the Detroit city border and ask people this questions who live right on the other side of it, they tell a different story, too,” said Dennis Denno, CEO of Denno Research. “Our poll shows that 56 percent of Macomb and Oakland county voters thought Detroiters would not vote for White mayor, while only 20 percent of Macomb and 15 percent of Oakland county residents thought they would. Obviously, there’s a disconnect on this issue in southeast Michigan.”

WWJ Newsradio 950 opened up the phone line for your comments. Here’s what some listeners had to say:

- “I’m a black man who grew up in Detroit, born and raised. I was in Detroit when Detroit was mixed and it was beautiful. I see no problem with it. I’m not racist and no one else should be.”

- “A white mayor would bring a lot of money into Detroit. Money would poll in from Washington and Lansing.”

- “I think it’s a great idea — get some fresh blood in there and turn that city around.”

- “What does it always have to be about black or white, male or female? Why not just pick the best person for the job?”

Detroit’s last white mayor – Roman Gribbs – served from 1970 to 1974, declining to run for a second term. Gribbs was replaced by city voters in 1974 by Detroit Mayor Coleman Young, who became the city’s first African-American leader.

The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted June 14-15.  It has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Although Duggan has so far declined to officially announce his candidacy, Skubick said it’s likely the DMC chief will run.

MORE: Would Detroit Elect A White Mayor?

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