New editions of the State Legislative Tracker and The Policy Tracker available now!

Detroit, Michigan mayoral election, 2013

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Detroit logo.gif
Detroit, Michigan
Form of governmentMayor-Council
Council composition7 district members, 2 at-large members
Terms of office4 years
Current mayorMike Duggan

On November 5, 2013, Mike Duggan (D) won the Detroit mayoral election, defeating opponent Benny Napoleon (D).[1]

General election

The following are the results of the 2013 Detroit mayoral election.

Mayor of Detroit, Michigan, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMike Duggan 54.9% 74,254
     Nonpartisan Benny Napoleon 44.7% 60,448
     Nonpartisan Write-in 0.3% 455
Total Votes 135,157
Source: City of Detroit Department of Elections

October 22 debate

On October 22, 2013, Duggan and Napoleon participated in their first televised debate. Duggan presented himself as someone with a proven record of turning around troubled institutions, while Napoleon focused on his record of service in law enforcement and repeatedly pointed out that he had lived in Detroit his entire life, drawing contrast to Duggan, who lived in the suburb of Livonia until 2012.[2][3][4]

Emergency Manager

Though they both opposed the presence of Governor Rick Snyder's appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, Duggan and Napoleon differed greatly in how they proposed to interact with him. Duggan stated that he believed that if he were elected, Governor Snyder would be likely to shorten Orr's tenure, in light of Duggan's record of turnarounds and connections with the business community. Showing great passion, Napoleon fervently spoke against Orr's presence and stated that he believed that Governor Snyder was illegally meddling with Detroit's affairs and stripping Detroiters of their right to self-governance.[3]

After a question characterizing democracy in Detroit as dead, in light of the powers of the emergency manager, Napoleon stated that the emergency manager law was "the most offensive assault on democracy that has ever occurred ... since the American Revolution." Napoleon went on to say that he would "stand up for citizens in the community" and do everything possible to remove Orr. Duggan described the situation as "troubling," saying he did not believe that anything had improved in Detroit since Orr's arrival. He went on to say that he would hope to be able to run the day-to-day operations of the city with an administrative team of his choosing and engage with Orr. Napoleon responded by saying he had "no plans to work with Kevyn Orr." To that, Duggan responded that he would be active in managing the city and not "sit around waiting for [Orr] to go away."[3]

Economy and jobs

Benny Napoleon discussed a $3.5 billion economic recovery plan, which would include adding "economic anchors" to each neighborhood along with public safety posts to enable people to work and be safe in their communities, reducing stresses on transit systems. His plan would reduce focus on increasing commerce in downtown Detroit. Mike Duggan painted Napoleon's plan as unrealistic, saying instead that the focus should be on attracting and encouraging entrepreneurs. In order to lower the start-up costs of a new business, Duggan proposed taking abandoned storefronts and selling them for a dollar, streamlining the permitting processes to make the legal processes easier, and seeking money from charitable foundations to establish a startup fund to help new businesses. After Napoleon claimed that Duggan had given up on Detroit communities, Duggan responded by saying that his plan was more realistic and economically sound, and that the conversation should focus on concrete past successes, not just plans.[3]

Crime prevention and neighborhood revitalization

Mike Duggan referred to his "Every Neighborhood has a Future" plan, saying that he would take abandoned homes and put families in them. The plan he referenced states that incentives would be provided to bring families back into the city to halt depopulation. As far as crime, he cited administrative tasks such as payroll and dispatch that were being completed by officers who could be on the streets of the community, helping to reduce the police response time.[3][5]

Napoleon referred to a 30% crime reduction that occurred while he was Chief of Police in the Detroit Police Department (1995-2001), saying that the population wouldn't return until neighborhoods were "livable, walkable, and sustainable." He went on to promise a 50% crime reduction during his first term as mayor by enhancing the plan instituted during his tenure as Chief of Police. Duggan pointed out that Napoleon had been serving as Wayne County Sheriff since 2009, and alleged that none of his initiatives as sheriff were effective. He also disputed Napoleon's claim of a 30% reduction in crime, saying he could not figure out between which years it occurred. Napoleon stated that it was based on FBI statistics, but did not elaborate. According to FBI Unified Crime Reports, total reported crime fell steadily from 6,143.4 per 100,000 in 1995 to 4,590.0 per 100,000 in 2001, a 25.3% reduction.[3][6][7]

Duggan focused on his successes as a prosecutor and highlighted the success garnered by partnering with the US Attorney, ATF, DEA, and state and local law enforcement to ensure appropriate enforcement of and punishment for gun crimes, citing a 30-year low homicide rate in the last year of his tenure as prosecutor. He also discussed the need for coordination between police, the district attorneys, and parole officers to ensure that crimes are reported and punished accordingly. Duggan also proposed partnerships with religious communities to provide mentoring and soft-skills counseling in conflict resolution. Napoleon stated that he would assign an individual officer to be responsible for quality-of-life issues in each square mile of the city, employing community-based policing tactics. Duggan argued that such a tactic would prevent officers from responding to emergency calls.[3]

Primary election

The August 6 primary determined which candidates would appear on the November 5, 2013 primary ballot. Mike Duggan and Benny Napoleon qualified to move on to the general election for Mayor of Detroit.

Detroit, Michigan Mayoral Primary Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMike Duggan 51.7% 48,716
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBenny Napoleon 30.1% 28,391
     Nonpartisan Krystal A. Crittendon 5.6% 5,311
     Nonpartisan Lisa L. Howze 4.9% 4,591
     Nonpartisan Tom Barrow 3.9% 3,699
     Nonpartisan All other candidates 3.7% 3,531
Total Votes 94,239
Source: "Mayor, City of Detroit Election Certification" August 6, 2013, accessed October 14, 2013

About Detroit

According to the 2012 U.S. Census estimate, Detroit is the 18th largest city with a population of 701,475.[8] The city operates under a mayor-council form of government. The mayor's salary is set at $158,559, while members of the city council earn approximately $73,000.[9]

One historical trend at the core of many of Detroit's current problems is depopulation. In 2012, Detroit's population estimated was estimated at 701,475 by the U.S. Census Bureau.[10] At its peak in 1950, the city population was 1,849,568.[11] This 62.1% fall in population over 60 years resulted in neighborhoods with a significant number of abandoned buildings, stretching limited city resources. One-fifth of Detroit's homes, approximately 78,000 homes, were vacant in 2013.[12]

As of July 2013, Detroit had a 16% unemployment rate, while the state of Michigan had an unemployment rate of 8.8% and the national unemployment rate was 7.4%.[13][14]

A measure on the 2009 general election ballot proposed to change the city council from a nine-member at-large legislative body to a council with seven members elected by district and two additional members elected at-large, beginning in 2013. The measure was overwhelmingly approved, with support of 73.35% of voters.[15][16]

The mayor and city council were stripped of most of their power when Governor Rick Snyder appointed Kevyn Orr as the city's Emergency Manager in March 2013. Orr removed Council President Charles Pugh from his position in June 2013 after Pugh stopped showing up to council meetings. Two other City Council members, Kwame Kenyatta and Gary Brown, resigned in June, reducing the number of sitting members on the City Council to six. Orr directed the Council to leave the vacant seats empty until the fall 2013 election, as long as the smaller city council meetings could still make quorum, the minimum attendance requirement in order to hold a meeting.[17][18]

As of the 2010 Census, Detroit was 82.7% African American, the largest percentage of any city with a population over 100,000.[19] Duggan's election will make him the first white mayor elected in Detroit in over 40 years, since the 1970-1974 tenure of Roman Gribbs.[20]

See also


  1. Michigan Live, "Mike Duggan projected to win Detroit mayoral election," November 5, 2013
  2. CBS Detroit "Motor City Slugfest! Duggan, Napoleon Duke It Out," October 20, 2013. accessed October 20, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 CBS Detroit "Detroit Mayoral Debate Part 1." accessed October 22, 2013
  4. CBS Detroit "Detroit Mayoral Debate Part 2." accessed October 22, 2013
  5. Duggan for Detroit "Every Neighborhood has a Future." accessed October 23, 2013
  6. FBI Unified Crime Reports, 1995 "Crime Index Offenses Reported." accessed October 23, 2013
  7. FBI Unified Crime Reports, 2001 "Crime Index Offenses Reported." accessed October 23, 2013
  8. US Census, "2012 Population Estimates"
  9. Morning Sun News "Detroit mayor, city council retain salaries" March 26, 2013. accessed October 18, 2013
  10. United States Census Detroit, Michigan Quickfacts. accessed October 22, 2013
  11. Wayne State University Detroit African American History Project Detroit Historical Events. accessed October 22, 2013
  12. Huffington Post Business "Detroit's Abandoned Building Problem Is An Actual 'Blight Emergency,' Says City Manager," September 16, 2013. accessed October 22, 2013
  13. Washington Post "Amid Detroit bankruptcy, residents grapple with poverty and unemployment" July 19, 2013. accessed October 18, 2013
  14. Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget Historical Unemployment Statistics. accessed October 18, 2013
  15. Citizens Research Council of Michigan "Detroit Ballot Issues - Proposal D: Election of Detroit City Council Members" October 2009. accessed October 15, 2013
  16. City of Detroit Elections Center "2009 November 3, General Election Results" November 3, 2009. accessed October 15, 2013
  17. NBC News "Its relevance reduced, Detroit council picks new leaders," July 9, 2013. accessed October 17, 2013
  18. Huffington Post "Charles Pugh, Detroit City Council President, Stripped Of Title, Salary By Kevyn Orr," June 26, 2013. accessed October 17, 2013
  19. United States Census Bureau "The Black Population: 2010" September 2011. accessed October 18, 2013
  20. Newsweek "Mike Duggan: A White Candidate For (Gasp!) Detroit" March 5, 2013. accessed October 18, 2013