Jun 3, 2024 - News

Duggan's endorsement of council's Waters reveals local alliances

Detroit City Council member Mary Waters.

Detroit City Council member Mary Waters. Photo: Courtesy of the city of Detroit via Flickr

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan endorsed at-large City Council member Mary Waters in her bid for Congress last week.

  • It's the latest sign that U.S. Rep. Shri Thanedar's local allies are dwindling.

The big picture: Thanedar has won the vote in Detroit in every one of his elections since running for governor in 2018, but has failed to win over the Black political establishment.

What they're saying: "Our future is in Washington and we need somebody in Congress who fights for us. And right now, I don't feel like we got any help from our congressman," Duggan said during a press briefing on Mackinac Island, the Free Press reports.

The other side: "Detroit has always stood with me and I remember that everyday in Congress. I'm confident that the people will choose me again," Thanedar wrote in a text message to Axios on Friday.

Between the lines: The mayor's endorsement is being seen by insiders as an investment into future relationships with the councilmember as well as retribution for opposing a major project he supported.

  • Thanedar followed his House colleague Rep. Rashida Tlaib's lead in opposing tax breaks for the Ilitch family organization and Stephen Ross' Related Cos. last year.
  • He met with the mayor about the project but still demanded City Council reject the tax incentives, Jonathan Kinloch, a county commissioner and chair of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party, tells Axios.

The bottom line: "It's a win-win situation — Mary Waters is a member of Detroit City Council," Kinloch says. "It only builds goodwill from the mayor for future projects and other initiatives the administration may bring before City Council."


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