Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan successfully won a third term in the Nov. 2 general election, easily defeating challenger Anthony Adams, a past deputy mayor under former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
He is the second mayor in the city’s history to win a third term since Coleman A. Young, who served five terms. Ahead of the vote, he noted the significance of the potential milestone, saying he felt “a tremendous responsibility to this city.”
“Mayors rarely get elected a third term in big cities in this country. It’s a tough job. Even the first reelection is hard,” said Duggan addressing supporters at his election party in Midtown. “The faith that the people of this city have placed in me just makes me feel enormous responsibility to deliver and I’m going to work really hard over these next four years to live up to the expectation.”
Duggan, 63, ran a quiet campaign focusing on his administration’s 8-year economic record following Detroit’s bankruptcy, touting city programs for vacant home demolitions and job placement.
“If you’re in one of those neighborhoods that still has abandoned houses even after we’ve taken 16,000 down, even after we’ve rehabbed 8,000. If you’re still in a house with blight, we are going to get there in the next four years and every single house is either going to occupied or its going to come down,” he promised Tuesday evening.
Duggan’s win comes as fewer Detroiters turn out to vote compared to past municipal elections. Turnout was 21.8% in 2017 and 25% in 2013. Duggan says the lower turnout in Tuesday’s election is due to an ongoing pandemic, which has limited in-person campaigning in a city where most residents are not vaccinated.
The 2021 campaign cycle has been marked by an ongoing federal corruption probe targeting Detroit city hall and its police department, leading to the conviction and resignation of one city councilmember and indictments for officers previously involved in police oversight. The FBI raided the homes and offices of members Janee Ayers and Scott Benson, who were also facing re-election Tuesday. No criminal charges have been filed.