91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Detroit Council member, former interim mayor Ken Cockrel won't seek re-election

via City of Detroit

Detroit City Council member and former Detroit mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. says he won’t seek re-election this year.

Cockrel is serving his fourth term on the City Council. He also served briefly as mayor after Kwame Kilpatrick resigned in 2008—but lost the follow-up election to Dave Bing.

In a statement released Tuesday, Cockrel says he’s decided that “now is the time” to leave the Council.

“Though I’ve been able to accomplish much during my four terms, I’ve also come to realize that in a strong mayor form of government, which our city charter prescribes, there are limits to how much a council member can accomplish. These limits are frustrating to me. I feel that I must seek new challenges, new opportunities, and new ways to help this city I love so dearly.”

Cockrel hints at future plans, though he’s not specific:

“Make no mistake, my heart remains with Detroit. I remain committed to helping our city overcome its current obstacles and realize its vast potential. But I also believe that I can best aid in that important work in a different way.”

Cockreltells Deadline Detroitthat emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s appointment didn’t play much of a role in his decision. Floated plans to pare back the Council—possibly even make it part-time—did influence his thinking.

Cockrel’s family has a deep tradition in Detroit politics. His father, Kenneth Cockrel Sr., was a well-known activist attorney and City Council member. His stepmother, Sheila Cockrel, also served on the City Council.

Cockrel’s departure also opens up the field for City Council candidates—both in his Council district, and city-wide. Detroit will elect 7 Council members by districtfor the first time in this election cycle. 2 candidates will run at-large.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
Related Content