July 1, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Duggan endorses Evans for Wayne County exec

Evans (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)

Warren Evans, a candidate for the position of Wayne County executive, landed the endorsement Tuesday of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

Duggan on Tuesday said Evans, a former Detroit police chief and Wayne County sheriff, is a “strong leader with an impressive turnaround management track record.”

Evans is running against Westland Mayor Bill Wild, state Rep. Phil Cavanagh of Redford, Commissioner Kevin McNamara of Belleville and incumbent Executive Robert Ficano.

“Today I decided to endorse Warren Evans for Wayne County executive,” Duggan said in a statement. “Of all the candidates, Warren Evans is the one with whom I can best partner to do the job you elected me to do in the city of Detroit.”

Duggan cited Evans’ record of crime reduction, removal of fugitives from the streets and helping launch the blight eradication program for neighborhoods for his endorsement.

Evans’ name recognition is expected to be a strength in the crowded county executive’s race with a little more than a month before the Aug. 5 primary. The Democratic winner of the primary is expected to easily defeat the Republican challenger in the Nov. 5 general election because the county is predominantly Democratic.

Ficano’s re-election team responded to the endorsement Tuesday with its own release.

“As most will recall, Evans resigned over controversy as Detroit chief of police,” according to a statement by Mort Meisner Associates.

Evans resigned as Detroit police chief in 2010 a relationship with a subordinate female officer was exposed. He also faced criticism after 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed when Detroit police accompanied by a reality TV crew fired a stun grenade through a window as they raided a Detroit home in search of a murder suspect.

Ficano’s campaign team also noted that Duggan, former CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, has praised Ficano before.

“Recently, Mayor Mike Duggan has publicly acknowledged that Robert Ficano and Wayne County were critical for the sale of DMC to Vanguard to save thousands of jobs,” the Mort Meisner Associates release said.

The release attributed Ficano as saying:

“Without my office paving the deal for the Detroit Medical Center, nothing would have been created for Mayor Duggan while he was at the DMC. It is a source of pride that I helped to shape thousands of health care jobs, while creating construction jobs at the DMC when Wayne County shaped a Renaissance Zone for the $1.5 billion expansion investment expansion by Vanguard Health Systems, Inc.”

Evans has also received the endorsement of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Wild was recently endorsed by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Duggan (David Coates / The Detroit News)