Mayor Mike Duggan cruised to an easy victory Tuesday, earning his second term as Detroit’s mayor. The first-term incumbent faced a challenge from state Sen. Coleman Young II who tried to frame the race around whose priorities the mayor represents: residents or businesses.
The city’s voters handed Duggan, a former prosecutor and hospital system executive, an overwhelming victory. With 570 of 590 precincts reported, Duggan had 70,373 votes to Young’s 27,420 for a 72 to 28 percent margin.
View all Detroit election results here.
Young conceded to Duggan about two hours after polls closed. He thanked supporters and remained steadfast in describing his campaign as being independent.
“We showed them what being unbought and unbossed looked like,” he said.
As hundreds of supporters cheered, Duggan took the stage a few minutes after 10 p.m. as Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” played on the speakers.
Duggan first described the Detroit he sees every day: a city full of positive people.
“I can’t stop for gas or go into a store without somebody coming up, smiling, wanting their picture taken,” he said.
Duggan also quoted President Obama in decrying divisive politics, saying the president once said that “if you have to divide the people to get elected, you’re never going to be able to govern.” In his first term, the mayor said he heeded that advice.
“I’m very proud of the fact that at the end of this campaign we did not spend one dime on TV, radio or mail attacking our opponent and I hope that this is the year where we put us vs. them politics behind us forever because we believe in one Detroit for all of us,” he said.
Duggan thanked campaign workers, volunteers, and singled out the Rev. Wendell Anthony, the former deputy mayor and police chief Ike McKinnon, and Benny Napoleon, who Duggan beat four years ago among others who have worked on his campaigns and in his administration.
“I want to say a special thank you to the 9,000 men and women who work for the city of Detroit,” he said. “The way the media covers it … they miss the big story and the big story is this: 75 percent of Detroiters says the city is headed in the right direction.”
But Duggan said there would be no break to celebrate his decisive victory. He reminded his cabinet there is a 9 a.m. meeting Wednesday morning. “Have fun tonight but be on time because we’re going right back to work in the morning,” he said.
At Young’s campaign party, the candidate told his supporters he fought hard against Duggan. He promised to continue to fight for people and neighborhoods he said don’t have a voice in the city.
“Even though…we came up short this is just the beginning,” Young said. “The struggle continues and the revolution moves on.”
Ruby Riley, who lives on the Northeast side of Detroit, said she supported Young because he “stood up for the people.”
She said she doesn’t trust Duggan. “All Duggan thought about was Downtown and Midtown. Anybody could see that,” Riley said. “I feel it’s gonna be like Snyder with the Flint water and the Donald Trump.”
WDET’s Sascha Raiyn and Candice Fortman contributed to this report.