Mayor Mike Duggan is making a bid for a third term as mayor of Detroit in Tuesday’s election. If he beats challenger Anthony Adams, he will be the second mayor in the city’s history to be elected to a third term.
“It does hit me hard and makes me feel like I have a tremendous responsibility to this city,” he says of the potential milestone.
Listen: Mayor Mike Duggan recounts successes and challenges of his tenure.
In the final stretch of the campaign, Duggan’s focus has been on mobilizing voters. “Get out and vote,” he says. “The people who are the angriest and want change, they’re motivated and they go out and vote. But people who are feeling good about things, we need to make sure that those voters get out too.”
Over the course of the campaign, Duggan has refused to debate challenger Anthony Adams, despite having debated previous challengers. According to Duggan, “I made a decision and … when I go into the neighborhoods every week, nobody says to me ‘I need a debate to make up my mind.’”
During his eight years in office, Duggan says one of his main achievements has been changing the state of politics in Detroit. “I’ve had a big role in changing the tone of politics in the city,” says Duggan. “If I can transport you back in time to eight years ago, the mayor was fighting with the council constantly. The mayor was fighting with the unions. The city was fighting with the suburbs. The city was fighting with Lansing and we spun down into bankruptcy and reaching out a hand to anybody, everybody kept fighting with each other.”
He considers his own relationship with City Council much more productive than it has been in previous administrations. “City Council and I have a lot of disagreements, but there haven’t been any of these personal attacks — they’ve been policy issues that we worked out. I’ve gone eight years without vetoing anything from City Council,” he says.
Duggan cites DDOT challenges as one of his administration’s biggest failures. “I was really proud about the direction DDOT was going and the thing that I’m most aggravated about is the step back we’ve taken in bus service,” he says.