Son of Detroit’s first Black mayor seeks to unseat popular white incumbent

Coleman A. Young II, the son of Detroit's first Black mayor, hopes to defeat incumbent Mike Duggan, but that fight might be harder than it looks.

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Coleman A. Young II, the son of Detroit’s first Black mayor, hopes to defeat white incumbent Mike Duggan on Tuesday, but that fight might be harder than it looks.

Duggan won the seat four years ago after the city, in economic turmoil, recently declared a state of emergency. Now, with Detroit’s economy improving, some voters are saying that he deserves another term, regardless of his race.

What’s more, it’s Duggan, not Young, who has the support of the Black Slate, which helped Young’s father, Coleman A. Young, get elected in 1973.

“We love Coleman Young II — as we loved his father,” said Baye Landy, regional coordinator for the political action committee. “We supported him for state representative and the state Senate, and we’re still with him and will be with him in the future.

“(But) we have to go with folks who do what needs to be done for our community. It doesn’t matter the color. The Black Slate has never been about race. It’s been about what’s best for Black people,” he said.

However, as Young pointed out during a debate last month, the Blackest and poorest neighborhoods in Detroit are still struggling.

“It’s the best of times for everybody’s who’s privileged and worst of times for everybody else,” Young said.

While Duggan acknowledged that there are “a lot of haves and have-nots,” he said that “the responsibility of leadership is to make sure where you start out is not where you end up.”

As for Young, the mayoral hopeful is still looking for good things to happen come Tuesday’s election. As he said on his website, “I love Detroit and I want to give back to the citizens who gave so much to my dad. I know that ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me,’” quoting from Philippians 4:13.