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Detroit Primary Election Results: Mayor Duggan Wins Decisively, Proposal P is Defeated

Mayor Duggan at DPC 2021Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s bid for a third term began with a convincing primary win, as he gained 72.5%  of the vote over former Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams (10% of the vote) and eight other challengers. Perhaps even more importantly for the Mayor and the future of the City of Detroit was the defeat of Proposal P, which would have radically changed the City Charter. Proposal P was defeated, with 67% voting against it and 33% supporting it.

At a victory party at the east-side restaurant Good Times Lounge, Mayor Duggan said, “It looks like we carried every precinct in this city. To the people in the city of Detroit who have just been behind me for eight straight years, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs, they’ve never wavered, and I’m just deeply appreciative.”

Chamber Perspective

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) was the first major organization to support Mayor Duggan’s bid for reelection with an early endorsement in January.

“Mayor Duggan is one of the finest mayors in the nation, and Detroit continues to benefit from his bold leadership,” said Brad Williams, vice president of Government Relations for the Chamber. “In 2020, we saw how much Mayor Duggan’s leadership mattered in guiding the city amid national crises in pursuit of racial justice and navigating the COVID-19 pandemic that cost too many lives. That is continuing with the city’s vaccination rollout.”

Detroiters reject Proposal P

Proposal P would have replaced Detroit’s current city charter with a 145-page revised charter written by the Detroit Charter Revision Commission. Since Detroit has home rule, its municipal government has more independence from the Michigan state government and thus the authority to adopt a full city charter. The proposed changes would have put unfunded mandates into the charter, dramatically expanded the cities bureaucracy, and hampered Detroit’s ability to balance the budget. The wide margin of defeat reflects a broad understanding from voters that Proposal P was a flawed mechanism for reform and would not have put the city on a path to long-term growth and recovery.

“It shows that Detroiters who were participating in this election were paying attention to the arguments being made for and against Proposal P and decisively rejected the approach that Proposal P was offering,” said Sheila Cockrel, a former Detroit city councilmember who was part of the anti-Proposal P Coalition to Protect Detroit’s Future campaign. “There may some ideas that are worth exploring as long as you can pay for them. But the people who voted in this primary were very clear on whatever the issues are.”

Chamber Perspective

Before the defeat of Proposal P, Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Sandy Baruah said, “After the hard-fought achievements of the Grand Bargain, we should not throw away that financial discipline only to replace it with a $2 billion hole in the city’s budget. The financial imbalance the charter revisions generate will harm the city’s ability to deliver needed services to its residents and sends a message of financial instability to current and potential businesses while risking another painful trip through bankruptcy.”

Detroit City Council Races

  • Councilmember Janeé Ayers won the highest number of votes, closely followed by Coleman Young II for the two at-large council seats. In addition to Young and Ayers, Mary Waters and Nicole Small be on the November ballot.
  • Incumbent Councilmember James Tate Jr. topped the race for District 1 with 72.08% of the vote. Krystal Larsosa follows his lead with 12.22% of the vote and will join him on the November ballot.
  • District 2 incumbent Councilmember Roy McCalister Jr. and Angela Calloway will face off the general.
  • District 3 Councilmember Scott Benson will move on without a challenger.
  • In District 4, here are the top two: Latisha Johnson secured 31.8% of the vote while M.L. Elrick followed with 24.39% in the race for Councilmember Andre Spivey’s seat.
  • District 5 Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield will move on without a challenger.
  • District 6 candidates Hector Santiago and Gabriela Santiago-Romero will face off in the general election.
  • In District 7, the top two were Frederick Durhal with 29.9% and Regina Ross with 24.22%.