Young Seeking Record Fifth Term
DETROIT (AP) _ Mayor Coleman A. Young announced a bid for a record fifth term, telling supporters ″ain’t nobody going to run me out.″
″If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen, because we’re cooking up something,″ Young, 71, said Tuesday at a community center. ″We’re cooking up unity ... respect ... and love.″
Since his narrow victory in 1973, Detroit’s first black mayor has won three subsequent elections easily and was expected to run again this year. Young’s campaign fund is estimated at $5 million.
Eight weeks remain before a non-partisan Sept. 12 mayoral primary, when voters will select two candidates for a runoff Nov. 7.
Challengers to Young include City Council President Erma Henderson, unsuccessful 1985 mayoral candidate Thomas Barrow, businessman Charles Costa and self-described ″candidate of God″ James A. Williams.
Young’s critics have accused him of focusing on downtown development in the nation’s sixth-largest city at the expense of neighborhoods.
But the mayor told a crowd of about 1,500 cheering supporters that he has helped rebuild the city in his 15 1/2 years in office and has plenty more to do.
″There’s been a lot accomplished - even Ray Charles could see that,″ Young said. ″But there’s a lot more to be done ... we will complete the rebuilding of the city of Detroit.
″I’ll leave if I want to, but ain’t nobody going to run me out.″
As mayor, he succeeded in integrating the police and fire departments and landed hundreds of millions of dollars in federal and state economic development grants, many of them for downtown projects along the Detroit River.
Young’s years in office also have seen a continuation of the white and middle-class flight from the city to the suburbs that began shortly after World War II and accelerated with the 1967 riots that left 37 dead and devastated large sections of the city.
Detroit, which had a population of 2 million in 1950, now has about 1 million residents in a metropolitan area that has grown to more than 4 million. About two-thirds of city residents are black.
Businesses and retailers have fled the city as well, and its increasingly impoverished neighborhoods have seen violence, drug abuse and crime steadily rise.
″When Young visits a neighborhood, it’s like he’s touring a foreign country,″ Barrow said Monday. ″At least when President Bush went to Poland, he left them with a promise.″
Young also has drawn criticism for his delay in acknowledging he was the father of a 6-year-old boy born to former city official Annivory Calvert, now the public works director in Fontana, Calif.
Young agreed to pay support for the boy after blood tests confirmed he was the father.