Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon Tuesday night announced his run for mayor of Detroit at Masonic Temple, unveiling a campaign that brought out some of the city’s most prominent ministers as well as labor leaders, including UAW President Bob King and former mayoral candidate Sharon McPhail.
Bishop P.A. Brooks, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, Bishop Charles Ellis, Pastor Marvin Winans, Rev. Oscar King III, Rev. Bertram Marks and Rev. Horace Sheffield were among the religious leaders who gathered to lend support to Napoleon who was hailed tonight as a son of Detroit, coming back to help run the city.
Supporters, including nationally known TV Judge Greg Mathis, who is campaign chair for Napoleon, made it clear tonight that despite the war chest of mayoral candidate Mike Duggan, Napoleon is in it to win.
The campaign tonight had similar patterns to Duggan’s announcement. Both were broadcast live online and both campaigns use blue as their official color.
Speaker after speaker praised Napoleon as an effective leader and sheriff and one who can make help write Detroit’s comeback story.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have spent my entire adult life serving this community. And I’ve been the consummate team player for Detroit,” Napoleon told a roaring crowd of more than 1000 who gathered in Masonic’s Crystal ballroom. “I’ve rooted for every mayor this city has had even if I didn’t vote for them. All with the expectation that if I did my part to make Detroit and Wayne County safe, elected leadership would ban together to transform this city. Yet, here we are.”
Napoleon said neighborhoods will be key in his administration.
“We will never grow Detroit until we provide people a reason to stay in our neighborhoods and for new people to move in. And that won’t happen until we make our neighborhoods livable, walkable, sustainable,” Napoleon said. “What is unique about Detroit is that every neighborhood has its own identity. They all have residents who love their area and know what’s best for it.”
The Wayne County Sheriff also noted that bureaucracy of doing business in Detroit will end when he becomes mayor.
“We will restructure our entire development process to create a one stop shop for business,” Napoleon said. “No longer will you have to wait months for approvals, licensing and permitting.”