When voters fill 4 open seats Tuesday, Detroit Council will have biggest turnover since 2014

November 01, 2021, 6:27 AM by  Alan Stamm

Detroiters on Tuesday will vote for mayor, city clerk, nine council members and decide whether three proposals pass.

But with Mike Duggan universally favored to win a thrid term easily, turnout is likely to lag. Clerk Janice Winfrey expects about 50,000 absentee ballots and 25,000 in-person voters -- 15 percent of the city's roughly 500,000 registered voters. August's primary drew 14.3 percent of the electorate.

Ballot scanner (Photo: WMBF)

"For both the primary and the general [election], campaigning has been at an all-time low," Winfrey said at a media briefing last Thursday. She's challenged for re-election by Denzel McCampbell, an adviser to Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, and a past Detroit Charter Revision Commission member.

Voting hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sample ballot: Secretary of State site
Related today: What write-in candidates want you to know

Seven council district seats and two at-large seats will be filled. Three races are for open district seats in Southwest, on the east side and on the city's far west side:

♦ Ex-newsman M.L. Elrick and community advocate Latisha Johnson are District 4 candidates for a seat vacated by Andre Spivey after pleading guilty in connection with "Operation Northern Hook," a federal bribery investigation centered on municipal towing corruption. The candidates answer our questions here.

♦ Past state Rep. Fred Durhal III is running in District 7 against Regina Ross, making her third try for council. They're vying to succeed Gabe Leland, who resigned as he pleaded guilty in May to official misconduct in a separate bribe case. The candidates answer our questions here.

♦ Two Hispanic candidates with deep Southwest Detroit roots — Hector Santiago and Gabriela Santiago-Romero — want to represent District 6. Raquel Castañeda-López, who made history as the council's first Latina member, opted out of a third term. They answer our questions here.

Scanner demonstration (Photo: New York City Board of Elections)

At least one of the two citywide seats also will get a new member in the biggest Detroit council turnover since 2014. 

Four candidates seek those at-large positions, including incumbent Janeé Ayers -- whose home was searched in August by FBI agents as part of the towing scrutiny. (Councilmember Scott Benson's home also was searched. He's challenged by a handful of write-ins.)

The other three candidates are:

♦ Mary Waters, a Wayne County Community College instructor who was in the state House from 2001-06
♦ Nicole Small, who was vice chair of the Charter Revision Commission
♦ Coleman Young Jr., a state representative from 2005-10, state senator from 2011-18 and congressional candidate in 2018.

In the all-but-settled mayoral race, Duggan barely campaigned and wouldn't debate Anthony -- who he outpaced in August's primary with 50,853 votes (72.4 percent) to Anthony's 7,014 (10 percent).

Detroit also has a crowded field seeking seven seats on the Board of Police Commissioners, plus three ballot proposals:

(Graphic: Michigan Voter Information Center)

Earlier coverage:

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