DETROIT (AP) — A former medical center chief defeated a county sheriff to become the next mayor of financially troubled Detroit, though the job holds little power while the city is being run by a state-appointed emergency manager.
Unofficial returns showed Mike Duggan defeating Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon 55 percent to 45 percent. Napoleon conceded defeat late Tuesday in a race where Duggan outspent him by about 3-to-1 heading into Tuesday's election.
"It's been an amazing year," Duggan told his supporters during a victory celebration when all precincts reported late Tuesday night.
"Thank you, Detroit," he added. "We ran a campaign against an opponent who gave us a very strong race. Now the real work begins."
Napoleon congratulated Duggan in his concession speech.
"The people have spoken," Napoleon said. "I'm going to keep fighting for Detroit and fighting for the people. This is not over."
When he takes office in January, Duggan will be Detroit's fourth mayor since 2008. He will succeed Mayor Dave Bing who declined to seek re-election following one term in office.
This election has been shadowed by the presence of turnaround specialist Kevyn Orr, who was hired in March by the state to fix Detroit's finances. In July, Orr made Detroit the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy.
Both Duggan and Napoleon said during the campaign that Orr should leave the city and allow the new mayor to fix Detroit's finances.
"I'm going to try to shorten Kevyn Orr's stay," Duggan told The Associated Press heading into the election.
But the reality is that Duggan will have little power under Orr, who has complete control of how Detroit pays its bills and spends its money.