Let me answer Nolan Finley’s question of is Detroit ready for a white mayor?
Actually the question is will Detroit elect a white mayor? My first instinct is to say no, but there is an opening that could allow for it.
Detroit News columnist Finley wrote about Detroit Medical Center Chief Mike Duggan moving from Livonia to Detroit. The rumblings in the political circles is he wants to run for Mayor. Current Mayor Dave Bing should make this his last term. He gave it the old college try but he has ailments and needs to chill the rest of his life.
Why can’t Duggan replace him?
It is simple. He is white. Most black Detroiter’s won’t vote for a white candidate for mayor.
So why can Duggan replace Bing?
Most black Detroiters don’t vote. And that could be the opening for Duggan if enough whites move into the city. Bing won the 2009 special election with just 49,000 votes. He got 70,000 votes in the general election. That is not that many votes in a city of 800,000.
Here is how he could win. If Duggan gets a lot of support from the business men who are buying up property downtown he could raise a lot of money and raise a lot of awareness. The political machine could put him in. The problem is most black folks are not going to vote for him. They think the city is under attack from the governor, financial managers and of course the big bad media.
They talk a big game about wanting to take back the city and make it better but many stay home on election night. If Duggan gets on the ballot and black Detroiter’s stay home on election night, he could win. Apathy is the wrong reason to win an election but it is quite possible. Here is the other key. New business are moving downtown and bringing a number of white workers with them. Some have chosen to live in the city and could give Duggan more support.
I hope he does run. I’ve met Duggan a few times. He seems like an enthusiastic and energetic guy. He knows how to generate support and he has a hidden political machine ready to jump into a race.