DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is taking the first step toward a run for re-election.
Bing picked up petitions Thursday afternoon at the city clerk’s office for a spot on the August primary ballot. The top two vote-getters advance to November’s general election.
Bing, who is 69, said plans to run remain “tentative.” The next step in the process would be to gather a minimum of 500 signatures within the next couple of weeks to make it official.
But the mayor insists he has still not made up his mind.
“It is not going to be an easy decision for me, but I’ve got to make the final decision and I’m going to do that very soon,” Bing told reporters.
It would be Bing’s second four-year term leading the city that now operates under a state financial manager.
What do business owners want from the next mayor? Entrepreneur Dan Gilbert was asked that question earlier in the day.
“It should be about the ‘what’ not the ‘who,’ — it’s as simple as that,” Gilbert said at a Pancakes and Politics event. “And if the mayor, you know, takes over — whoever it may be — and they just run it simply from a one-question standpoint: Every decision I make will be guided by what is best for the city’s, you know, short-term and long-term interests and nothing else … I think you’ll see progress.”
The mayor’s position won’t hold any power for the first year or so.
Bing was elected mayor in May 2009 to complete the remaining months of disgraced ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s second term. Voters re-elected elected Bing that November.
He inherited a budget deficit that now stands at $327 million.
“I’m at a point in my life where I’d like to enjoy some of it. I have not been able to enjoy this four years because of the circumstances,” said Bing on Thursday. “But now with things starting to turn and move a little faster, you potentially can get some enjoyment out of moving the needle forward.”
Bing has said he’s now working closely with Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, who must approve all financial decisions.
Bing has until May 14 to file.
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