Detroit to Make History by Electing White Mayor

All it took was the bankruptcy of the city and its effective loss of political power to make even the New Black Panthers rally around Duggan.

Detroit last elected a white mayor, Roman Gribbs, in 1969. The Detroit City Council has seated just two white members since 1990 and none since 2009.

So why is Duggan’s candidacy suddenly viable? In short: the city’s dismal financial state—with a reported debt of $14 billion, it now faces the prospect of bankruptcy and on Friday—has made Duggan’s business background a powerful selling point.

When he took over the DMC in 2004, it had lost $500 million in five years and was facing the closure of its two biggest hospitals. Duggan shifted resources to patient care and created a guarantee that ER patients would see a doctor within 29 minutes. He also spearheaded a program for small businesses that provided health care to 20,000 uninsured people. The DMC quickly began turning a profit.

Duggan, a Democrat, is running against Benny Napoleon, a black Democrat, who in theory should be the only one on the ballot. And Napoleon is campaigning in the predictable way,that Democrats in Detroit and other urban areas have been campaigning for decades  but is falling behind.

Napoleon argues that Detroit’s problems are overstated, something he says has helped Duggan.

“When you convince people that they are desperate and their desperation is caused by somebody who looks like them, it starts people to thinking that ‘maybe we do need to do something different,’ ” Napoleon said. “And that is the refrain that is going out.”

Napoleon is suggesting that black voters are avoiding a black politician for racial reasons. That’s probably not the case. The issue may be that Napoleon sounds like every politician before him, pandering and offering up emotional promises, while avoiding details and reality.

Although he has a nearly 2-to-1 lead in the polls, Duggan has not won over Rep. Conyers, who endorsed Napoleon late last month. Conyers told voters that he supports the sheriff “because he is one of us.”


Napoleon has the backing of much of Detroit’s political establishment, but Duggan has the backing of the business community.

The election may not matter much considering Detroit’s current state. The city is being run by an emergency manager. Its current mayor is irrelevant and the city is being run by Kevin Orr, who is black, and is trying to deal with Detroit’s economic disaster. Pushing Duggan may be seen as a savvy move to put someone forward who can credibly be given control of the city again.

It’s ironic though that Detroit is set to vote for the competent man while New York City is set to vote for Bill de Blasio, an incompetent radical with no credentials except a black lesbian wife and a history of pandering to left-wing extremists. I don’t think Detroit will ever become New York, but at this point it seems like New York has learned nothing from Detroit.

  • Boots

    Bill de Blasio, running for mayor of New York (last paragraph), has a black lesbian wife? So is he gay making it somehow work or is it a marriage of convenience to enhance his liberal street cred? I’m guessing she’s a switch hitter in an open marriage.

    • Carlos_Perera

      Not necessarily: contrary to the “born that way” mantra, the reality is that many homosexuals–Lesbians especially–spontaneously change orientation to hetero; I have witnessed two such cases personally, and know indirectly of many more.

      • Boots

        At this point virtually nothing surprises me. My bewilderment/amusement is just rooted in her self identification as a lesbian but is married to a guy. Reality though is that de Blasio will most likely turn NYC into Detroit east if he gets his way on his policies.

    • Jakareh

      Many women nowadays dabble in lesbianism as a sort of liberal rite of passage. After all, what better way to show your support for “gay” rights than being “gay” yourself for a while? It’s especially common on college campuses.

      • Boots

        I should’ve but hadn’t considered the dabbling. Thinking about it Ellen’s former partner Anne Heche went straight which means she probably never really a lesbian. In any case de Blasio won so it will be interesting to see how soon the crime rate goes up and he forces the productive to flee.

  • Omar

    Today, every New Yorker, regardless of characteristics, needs to go to the polls and vote for Joe Lhota to be NYC’s next mayor. He is the only politician who can stop Warren Wilhelm Jr. from turning New York into Sandinista Nicaragua. Wilhelm will not hesitate to let the city go back into the chaos that is used to be under Koch and Dinkins. Lhota is the candidate representing all New Yorkers, while Wilhelm is the candidate representing Sandinista strongman Daniel Ortega (Ortega is Wilhelm’s puppeteer). New York has a choice to make: either to save itself or be ruled by a Sandinista puppet. Either New Yorkers win (Lhota wins mayoral election), or Ortega wins (Wilhelm wins mayoral election). Those are the actual options.

  • Veracious_one

    He also spearheaded a program for small businesses that provided health care to 20,000 uninsured people. The DMC quickly began turning a profit.
    Obamacare will reverse this sound management..

  • Jason

    Small, but encouraging. Detroit might actually do well with this guy. He might be a Democrat, but he doesnt appear to be the same type of Democrat that destroyed Detroit. Hopefully next election a Republican might get on the ballot?

  • Veracious_one

    look at Detroit now, after 60 years of Democrats in charge..

  • Veracious_one

    look at Detroit now, after 60 years of Democrats in charge..