Detroit Today: Looking at Eastpointe’s mayoral controversy

Why incumbent Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens might not get re-elected, and the new political direction taking shape within the city.

A photo of a ballot box in Eastpointe, Mich.

Primary election voting continues Tuesday in cities across the state of Michigan. Eastpointe’s mayoral race has been particularly interesting. 

Mayor Monique Owens — the first Black woman to serve as Eastpointe’s mayor — is preparing to stand trial for allegedly submitting a fraudulent application for a COVID-19 grant in 2020. 

There are three candidates running to unseat Owens, many of whom are basing their platform on LGBTQ+ inclusion, especially after the Macomb County city’s 2023 Pride Month resolution failed to pass.

Reporters Susan Smiley and Hannah Mackay spoke to Detroit Today to discuss the issues surrounding Eastpointe’s elections.

Listen: Eastpointe’s mayoral election and controversy explained


Susan Smiley is a reporter with The Macomb Daily who has covered the controversy Mayor Owens has been facing. She says there was a protest against city council when local officials didn’t pass a Pride month resolution, which is something the sitting mayor regularly blocked. 

“Eastpointe calls itself the family town, we’re trying to be inclusive, but then at the same time, you’re kind of voting against something that speaks to inclusiveness,” Smiley points out.

Hannah Mackay is a reporter at The Detroit News and has been covering the primary election in Eastpointe. Mackay says issues related to LGBTQ inclusion and infrastructure projects have peaked the interests of voters most. 

“Themes of fixing the city’s reputation and fixing divisiveness in the city are things that all of the candidates are focusing on,” she says.

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