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Campaign finance reports show how lopsided Detroit mayoral race is


Campaign finance filings reveal the lopsided nature of Detroit’s mayoral race between Mike Duggan and Coleman Young II.

First-term incumbent Duggan raised more than $752,000 since the end of August. His campaign has raised over $4.2 million since he won the mayor’s office in 2013.

By contrast, Young’s campaign raised just under $20,000 in the past couple of months, and a total of $53,680 for the whole election cycle.

Duggan’s campaign finance filings also show he’s built a national donor base in the past four years.

Many of Duggan’s biggest donors in the most recent campaign finance report hail from the East Coast, particularly the New York City area. They include:

  • $20,000 from four people affiliated with the New York-based company Outerstuff, LLC. That’s a leading maker of licensed sports apparel for major professional and college sports teams.
  • $10,000 from Morris and Aaron Wolfson, also out of New York City. They run the Wolfson Group, a Philadelphia-based commercial real estate and development firm.
  • Another 9 donations of $5000 or more from New York or Philadelphia-based individuals or firms (including Comcast’s Political Action Committee).

Duggan also received $18,000 from members of the Tellem family. Arn Tellem is the Vice Chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Detroit Pistons.
After playing in suburban Detroit for many years, the Pistons returned to downtown Detroit for this NBA season. They’re playing, alongside the NHL’s Red Wings, at the new Little Caesar’s Arena.

The vast majority of Duggan’s donations come from outside the city of Detroit. By contrast, the vast majority of Young II’s come from inside the city.

Young II has received just one $5000 donation since late August, from John Ratcliffe of Cedar Hills, TX.

Young II’s mother, Annivory Calvert of Detroit, was his largest overall campaign donor. She contributed a total of $6,696.72.

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.
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