Though mayoral candidates have been coming out of the woodwork for Detroit elections this year, Mayor Dave Bing has been tight-lipped about whether he'll run again. On Thursday, however, he began the process to run for re-election.
Bing picked up petitions needed to run for his second full four-year term at the City Clerk's office downtown, according to the Detroit News.
According to MLive, Bing will decide whether to run again "really soon". He has until May 14 to turn in 500 signatures.
A tweet sent by the mayor's official account indicated he was keeping his options open as the city cooperates with the state to fix its finances:
Kevyn Orr, a turnaround expert, was appointed emergency manager for Detroit by the Gov. Rick Snyder in March. Under state law, he has the ability to fire city officials. His term will end in less than two years.
"We work well together," Bing said in a press conference Thursday, adding that he understands Orr has "the final say." Bing has continually said he cares more about the future of the city than who has control.
Mayoral candidate and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon is currently leading the race, according to a poll taken that did not include Bing as a potential candidate. Former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan was four points behind Napoleon. Pollster Joe DiSano told The Huffington Post that he didn't see the mayor as a significant candidate.
"Dave Bing is a political dead man walking," he said.
Other candidates include former state Rep. Lisa Howze, state Rep. Fred Durhal Jr., and former city lawyer Krystal Crittendon. Tom Barrow, who previously ran against Bing, also submitted signatures to put his name on the ballot Thursday.
Primary elections are held in August, and the two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election.
Former state Rep. Lisa Howze is a lifelong Detroiter with a background in accounting. She declared her candidacy for mayor in 2012. Her platform is focused on public safety, better city management and improving Detroit's economy. During her time in the state House, she was a primary sponsor of the successfully passed House Bill 4596, which forbids faulty credit information from being used to determine insurance rates. Howze also voted against the former emergency manager law, Public Act 4. She has disputed claims by Gov. Snyder's Detroit Financial Review board that total the city's long term debt at $14 billion. Howze places the city's short-term financial liabilities at around $2 billion, according to the Detroit Free Press, and says they can be managed without the appointment of an emergency manager. Howze holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in 1995, as well as a Master’s in Finance degree from Walsh College. She's also a certified public accountant with over 18 years of experience.
Fred Durhal Jr., a second-term state representative, announced his candidacy in November 2012. He serves Detroit's 5th district and sits on Michigan's House Appropriations Committee. If elected as Detroit's mayor, Durhal says he would begin his term by concentrating on financial stability, public safety, community and economic development, education, training and job development. The state representative is a native of Rochester, New York, but moved to Detroit with his family at a very young age. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Wayne State University. Durhal has a long record of public service that includes working as an assistant to former Detroit Mayor Coleman and serving as the first African-American political organizing director for the Michigan Democratic Party.
Krystal Crittendon served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit's Law Department from 2009 to 2013. She was dismissed from that position as the city's top lawyer in a City Council vote that upheld a decision by Mayor Dave Bing in January. She attracted the mayor's ire by issuing an ultimately unsuccessful legal challenge to the city's financial stability agreement with the state of Michigan. During the current mayor's race, she has strongly opposed a state review team's report that determined there was financial emergency in Detroit. "It is flawed in many respects. Reading it, I don't know how anyone can recommend an emergency manager. There seems to be a basic fundamental misunderstanding of how city government is actually structured," she told The Huffington Post. As mayor, Crittendon says she would address the city's financial problems by collecting money owed by larger companies and businesses like income taxes, property taxes and other fees. If elected, she has promised to negotiate in good faith with city unions. Her priorities include public safety, transportation and streamlining city processes. A native of Detroit, she graduated from Wayne State University and the Detroit College of Law, according to The Detroit Free Press. During her time with the City of Detroit, she rose through the ranks from staff attorney all the way to Corporation Counsel.
Mike Duggan was determined ineligible to run as a candidate in Detroit's mayoral race on June 11, 2013. Earlier.. If elected, Mike Duggan, a former president and CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, would be the first white mayor of Detroit since Roman Gribbs was elected in 1969. Although the former DMC head had been hinting at a mayoral run for some time, he didn't formally announce his candidacy until late February of 2013. He's running under the slogan, "Every neighborhood has a future." He touts his financial know-how and economic development and public safety experience as reasons voters should choose him for mayor. Along with other candidates he's also been highly critical of the anticipated appointment of an emergency manager to run Detroit. "For the last 237 years in America we’ve had traditions for dealing with failing leaders — they’re called elections," he stated in a recent Detroit Free Press opinion column. As DMC's chief from 2003 to 2011, Duggan helped stabilize its finances and presided over the sale of the then non-profit medical system to the private-sector company Vanguard Health Systems. He has considerable experience in public service, serving as Wayne County Prosecutor from 2001 to 2003, and before that, as Deputy Wayne County Executive under Ed McNamara and general manager for the suburban SMART bus system. Duggan graduated from Detroit Catholic Central and holds undergraduate and law school degrees from the University of Michigan. Despite his experience in Detroit-area politics, Duggan has drawn flak during the mayor's race from some who have labeled him an outsider. His decision to move to Detroit's Palmer Woods neighborhood from the suburban city of Livonia even became the focus of a flap with potential rival Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.
Dave Bing was elected as Mayor of Detroit during a special 2009 election and later went on to win the position in a general election. On May 14, 2013, he announced he would not run for reelection. During his time in office, he has overseen the development of the monumental Detroit Future City strategic framework, a 50-year vision plan for the city put together by his Detroit Works think tank. In addition, he's presided over the city during a time of severe financial turmoil, which he has cited in defense of his decision to make drastic budget cuts to public safety, transportation, recreation and other city services. His administration has also seen a high rate of turnover for city officials. A native of Washington DC, Bing holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Syracuse University, as well as an honorary Doctorate of Laws. A former pro basketball player, the mayor first came to Detroit in 1966, when he was drafted by the Pistons. After spending 12 years in the NBA, Bing later became involved in the business world, founding an automotive supply company called the Bing Group in 1980. He served as president and chair until April 2009.
Benny Napoleon is Wayne County Sheriff and a former Chief of Police in Detroit. Crime and addressing the city's financial issues have been cited as his top priorities as a candidate. He's also come out against the appointment of an emergency financial manager to Detroit and has expressed doubts about the declaration of a "financial emergency." "I have serious questions about veracity of state review team’s report that appears to overstated city’s long-term debt," he said in a March 2 tweet. Born and raised in Detroit, Napoleon was recruited to Detroit's police academy in 1975 and quickly rose through the ranks. In 1998, he was appointed as the city's police chief. Michigan Radio reports that violent crime fell by 30 percent during his time heading the department before retiring in 2001. But his time as DPD chief was not without controversy. An investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, launched in 2000, resulted in a federal consent decree over the Detroit Police Department's use of force and other practices. Napoleon holds an associate's degree in law enforcement and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Mercy College and a law degree from the Detroit College of Law. During the current mayoral race, Napoleon has traded barbs with candidate Mike Duggan over the former DMC chief's decision to relocate from the suburban city of Livonia to Detroit's affluent Palmer Park neighborhood.
Tom Barrow ran against Detroit Mayor Dave Bing in the city's 2009 mayoral election and is a candidate in the 2013 race. Jobs, financial stability, protecting the city's assets and establishing family safety zones with a heightened police presence were among Barrow's priorities during his previous mayoral campaign. He also challenged the election results of that race, alleging vote tampering and pushing for a criminal investigation, according to the Metro Times. More recently, Barrow has criticized Gov. Rick Snyder's expected appointment of an emergency manager to Detroit, which he has called a "throwback to Jim Crow." In an interview with The Huffington Post, Barrow, a certified public accountant, disputed the findings of the state's emergency review board, saying they had used "phony financial data" in order to declare a financial emergency in the city that he believes would be used by the state to take control of city assets. Barrow was born in Detroit and graduated from Wayne State University with a bachelor's of science degree with a concentration in accounting. He worked at the Arthur Andersen accounting firm before later starting his own public accounting company Barrow, Aldridge & Co. In 1994, Barrow was found guilty of bank fraud and tax evasion in U.S. District Court. He has challenged the conviction, but a federal appeals court in 2012 refused to clear his record, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Mark Murphy Jr. is a community advocate who says he has a 500-day plan to improve the City of Detroit. His priorities as mayor would include streamlining city operations, neighborhood cleanup, acquiring new emergency equipment and streetlights, taking care of abandoned structures and beginning citywide bulk monthly trash pick-up and recycling programs. Murphy believes the city's budget issues could be partially addressed by encouraging city-facilitated volunteerism. He sees himself as a grassroots candidate. "I'm actually out here in the city -- actually on the ground in the city," he told The Huffington Post. "I walk the neighborhoods. I walk through the alleyways. Other people in the city should relate to me, compared to some of the others [who] have been entrenched in professional political positions." Murphy grew up in Southwest Detroit and graduated with honors from Charlotte Forten Academy in early 2004. In 2009, he ran as a candidate for Detroit City Council. His professional background is in landscaping and property cleanup.
Geoffrey Fieger is perhaps the most well-known attorney in Southeast Michigan. He became famous as a defender of euthanasia activist Dr. Jack Kevorkian during the 1990s. He's expressed interest in Detroit's mayoral race, telling radio host Charlie Langton in 2012 that he might run against Mayor Dave Bing, depending on who else enters the race. If he did, it certainly wouldn't be Fieger's first high profile political campaign. He ran -- unsuccessfully -- as the 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nominee against former Michigan Gov. John Engler. Fieger holds two degrees from the University of Michigan, as well as a law degree from the Detroit College of Law/Michigan State University. He belongs to the Michigan and Florida Bar Associations.
Candidate Andrae Townsel is a native Detroiter who's been away. He's been in Washington D.C., pursuing an education and working as a school administrator, but he says Detroit hasn't been far from his thoughts. "Instead of running away from the city, I want to come back and offer my talents and resources I've developed while away," he told The Huffington Post in an interview last year. "I have the perspective of being an insider from Detroit and the outsider of being away while studying. I think I have the resources from the people I met out here, I can bring those resources back to the city as well as what the city already has to offer." Like many of the other candidates Townsel's opposed to the appointment of an emergency financial manager in Detroit. He cites it as the reason he got into the race. He's also interested in improving city services. Townsel is a graduate of Detroit's Cass Technical High School. He also has a bachelor's and a master's degree from Howard University and is working on a doctorate in Educational Administration and Policy. Although he doesn't have a long history of political experience, Townsel believes his background in education would be helpful as mayor. "As an educator you’re dealing with public and then managing large bodies of people within a district as well as decision-making skills understanding the policy process, he said. "I have the ability to lead and the talent to lead." In addition to everything else he's got going on Townsel has also been a Canadian pro football player and honed his skills as a rapper. Check out this video for "City of Gold," an ode the his hometown.