Broke, Fed-Up Detroit Elects 'Turnaround Expert' Mayor

Tough fight ahead for Mike Duggan

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 6, 2013 3:30 AM CST | Updated Nov 6, 2013 7:49 AM CST

(Newser) – "What we have in common is much more powerful than what divides us," Mike Duggan said last night after being elected as Detroit's new mayor. Duggan—a former hospital chief who will be the predominately black city's first white mayor in 40 years—beat Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon to take charge of a broke city suffering from high rates of crime and unemployment, as well as poor public services, USA Today reports. The city is $18 billion in debt and awaiting the outcome of a historic bankruptcy filing.

Analysts say that Duggan's reputation as a turnaround expert helped him win over the city's fed-up voters. "Duggan has cultivated this image of being Mr. Fix-It, which has permeated everywhere," the founder of the newsletter Inside Michigan Politics tells the Detroit Free Press. "And I think Detroiters were so fed up with what they’ve seen over the last 10, 20, or 30 years, they’re saying, 'We don’t care if the mayor’s red, black, purple or green.' They want somebody who can get the books balanced."

Detroit mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon concedes the race to ex-health care executive Mike Duggan.   (AP PhotoCarlos Osorio)
Mayor-elect Mike Duggan speaks at his election night celebration in Detroit .   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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