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Stevie Wonder Mulls Run for Detroit Mayor - Someday

June 29, 1988

DETROIT (AP) _ Stevie Wonder says he is serious about becoming mayor of Detroit.

Not right away, mind you, but whenever Coleman Young, the long-serving mayor, is ready to step aside, the Motown recording star says he could step into the world of big-city politics.

″I think he could do a good job, too,″ Young, a Wonder fan, said when told of the singer’s political aspirations during an appearance in Boston with likely Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

The one-time child prodigy floated the Wonder-for-mayor idea in an interview Tuesday on Detroit radio station WJLB-FM.

″I hope someday, and this is really going to shock you, ... someday I probably will think about running for mayor of this city, straight out,″ Wonder, 38, told talk show host John Mason.

Mason, a friend of Wonder who ran into the singer in Detroit at the closed circuit airing of the Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks heavyweight boxing fight, laughed and asked Wonder if he was serious.

″I’m very serious,″ he replied.

Wonder, however, said he has no immediate plans to challenge Young, whose term expires in 1989.

″Coleman, don’t worry,″ Wonder said. ″Not yet.″

Young, 70, has been mayor since 1974 and has shown no indications of relinquishing the job. Asked if he had decided whether he would run again, Young said, ″If I have, I haven’t announced it.″

Wonder said he believes solutions exist to the problems of drug abuse, teen-age gangs and the breakdown of the family structure, but ″people really have not attacked those problems. I do believe problems have solutions.″

Wonder, who was born in Saginaw and raised in Detroit, achieved his first success in the music business in Detroit and still records for the Motown label, now based in Los Angeles. Its sale to MCA Inc. was announced Tuesday.

His hits include ″Sir Duke,″ ″Isn’t She Lovely?″ and ″You Are the Sunshine of My Life.″

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