DETROIT (WWJ) – He’s back in the race to lead the city of Detroit. At 10 a.m. Friday, the former Wayne County Prosecutor and Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan announced he will run a write-in campaign.
By court order, Duggan was removed from the August primary ballot because he filed campaign petitions two weeks prior to being a registered Detroit voter for a full year as required by the city charter.
“We have to have a mayor who has dealt with bankruptcy, who has dealt with crisis, can do a turnaround and run this city professionally,” Duggan said, surrounded by excited supporters at a news conference. ”And if the voters of Detroit think that person is me, I’m gonna go out and campaign as hard as I can for the next five weeks.”
This mayoral race comes as Detroit continues to spend more money than it takes in as revenue. The city’s budget deficit could top $380 million by July 1, and state-appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr now estimates the city’s long-term debt at $20 billion.
Duggan said Orr is doing a “fine job,” but the city’s leadership is clearly unstable.
“As I looked at the newspaper — what’s happened in the last week? … The emergency manager from of government is unstable by its nature,” Duggam said. “We’ve lost a third of the Detroit City Council since I stood here a week ago — I mean, for three different reasons. That’s never happened in Detroit’s history.”
Stripped by Orr of his powers and pay, City Council President Charles Pugh hasn’t been seen for several days. With Pugh off the job, that leaves the council with only six remaining members after Kwame Kenyatta quit and Gary Brown moved on to a position in Orr’s office.
Duggan said he’s the one to move the city forward.
“When you look at the other candidates in the race, I really believe if one of them was elected we’re going to have an emergency manager for the next four or five years,” Duggan added. “I just think that we’re going to be stuck in that situation.”
Duggan explained the write-in process, saying voters must print his name on the blank line and then fill in the oval.
According to the latest polls, Duggan is a front-runner in the race — along with Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.