Benny Napoleon officially enters Detroit mayoral race

Benny Napoleon officially enters Detroit mayoral race

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Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon announces he is entering the Detroit mayoral race at the Masonic Temple.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon announces he is entering the Detroit mayoral race at the Masonic Temple. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Wayne County's top cop makes it official.  Benny Napoleon is running for mayor of Detroit.  He made the announcement to a big crowd of supporters at the Masonic Temple.

Before his announcement, Napoleon explained why he wants to be mayor.

"Detroit needs leadership that understands this community.  It needs leadership that has really been through what Detroiters have been through.  I love this city.  I've been in this city my entire life.  I have a deep relationship with Detroiters throughout the entire gamut, whether it's business, whether it's labor, whether it's community groups, the clergies, it doesn't matter.  They've all come to me and said at such a time as this we need leadership like you."

Napoleon said he has listened to the concerns of thousands of Detroiters.  Crime, economic development, blight and education top the list and will be part of his priorities if he is elected mayor.

What do the mayoral candidates say about Detroit's EFM?

If you want to be mayor of Detroit, you better get comfortable with Kevyn Orr, Detroit's emergency financial manager.  He has been on the job for less than a week, but expect him to be here for at least the next 18 months.  He has said he is open to input, but at the end of the day the EFM holds the purse strings and a lot of power and cannot be ignored, especially if you're running for mayor.  So what do the candidates have to say about the new guy on the eleventh floor?

"He's here.  There's nothing you can do about it.  So the best thing to do is to try to work with him in the best way possible to make this as quick a journey for him as possible, but an effective one to put the city back on track," said Rep. Fred Durhal, Jr.

"The key, it's is not about whether working with Kevyn Orr is the answer.  It's about a plan that's already been out there that my campaign has put forth.  It's called the Detroit Kick-start Initiative.  Since Mr. Orr has been here, we haven't really heard them discuss the finances anymore," said Lisa Howze.

"We're now focused completely on what would the city look like after the emergency manager," said Mike Duggan.  "If Mr. Orr demolishes some homes, that would be great, but we're going to have a plan to rebuild the neighborhoods when he's gone. If he cuts these legacy cuts, that would be great.  We need a plan to build a city where businesses and jobs come back."

"First and foremost, once the people of the City of Detroit have spoken in November, I'm going to suggest to the governor that he let newly elected leadership, who have not been so much responsible for what has transpired in the past, come in and move this city forward," said Napoleon.

"The key is that we get back to addressing the true issue [of] why he's here, which is the finances, so that our goal is to get him out as soon as possible," Howze said.

"I want somebody to help get us out of this mess.  I think it's smart for us to not necessarily fight him on that end of it," Durhal said.

"We have to make sure the emergency financial manager, if that person is still here, performs his duties in a manner that is consistent with what is the best interest of the citizens of this city," said Napoleon.

"My approach is going to be to build on whatever he does and transition back to an elected democracy as fast as possible," Duggan said.

We did try to contact mayoral candidate and former corporation counsel Krystal Crittendon for comment, but we were unable to reach her.

Meanwhile, the primary is still a little more than four months away.

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