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State Rep. Fred Durhal announces run for mayor

By Marcus Wright
Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — State Rep. Fred Durhal, D-Detroit, announced his candidacy for mayor, Nov. 26, at Detroit’s Unity Baptist Church. Durhal currently represents the 6th District of Michigan, which includes parts of Detroit’s west side and southwest side.

“Caring, Competent, Committed,” is Durhal’s platform.


Fred Durhal

Fred Durhal

“We don’t need the state to fix or solve our problems,” Durhal said. “I don’t believe in the ‘Humpty Dumpty’ theory. Detroit can be fixed and we (Detroiters) can fix it.”

City employee and AFSCME member Catherine Phillips, in addition to having a personal litmus test for all candidates, says she wants to know what caring, competent and committed means.

“Where were you during the Public Act 4 (PA4) fight? And, does your current constituency know about your stance on PA4 and Public Act 72? That issue is the most important issue to me. It was/is an attempt to strip us of our democracy (voting rights) and if you didn’t fight with the people to destroy this unconstitutional law, you are not my candidate,” Phillips said. “How can I vote for anyone if my voting rights are gone?”

Retired UAW official John Henry Davis said he knew Durhal was going to run for mayor.

“This is a name recognition effort to help his son Fred the third, who is going to run for his dad’s state (representative) seat,” Davis said. “This also helps Mike Duggan by splitting up the Black vote.”

Durhal said he doesn’t need an exploratory committee and he will not be intimidated by money. “All I want to do is serve you, the citizens of Detroit,” Durhal said. “We need leadership. And I can provide that leadership.”

Over the years, Durhal has received criticism for his leadership in a failed Highland Park housing development. Acting in consort with the city’s first Emergency Financial Manager, Ramona Pearson, Durhal oversaw the construction of the North Pointe project. It was notorious for cheap construction from the beginning. Homeowners complained their houses lacked outside back stairs, basements leaked, windows wouldn’t open or shut, cracked walls, 16 foot wide structures with leaky roofs. The development was long ago abandoned and remnants remain an eyesore on the city’s northeast side.

Detroit Board of Education member Elena Herrada said Durhal should have provided leadership in building homes in Highland Park.

“Fred Durhal would do well to make amends to the residents of Highland Park, whose homes were built so shabbily that they fell apart almost immediately,” Herrada said. “He has done some developments that have been detrimental to residents.”

Phillips said she would like to know Durhal’s position on this current “tug of war” between the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan. “He is currently in a position to demand that the state release the city’s revenue sharing,” Phillips said. “Has he done that?”

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