State Rep. Phil Cavanagh received the endorsement of AFSCME Council 25, in his challenge of incumbent Wayne County executive Robert Ficano. (Clarence Tabb Jr / The Detroit News)
Detroit — State Rep. Phil Cavanagh, a candidate for Wayne County executive, received two key labor endorsements Monday as he seeks to challenge incumbent Robert Ficano in a crowded primary field.
The support of Michigan American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25 and the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO breathes new life into Cavanaugh’s campaign. The AFSCME council is the largest union in Detroit and the county with about 15,000 members working throughout Wayne County, while the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO represents about 39 unions in the region.
“I am humbled and honored,” Cavanagh said to a group of about 70 at the AFSCME Council 25 headquarters. “I fought for the AFSCME endorsement. I fought for it because the AFSCME workers have been beat up for too long.”
Cavanagh of Redford is running against Westland Mayor Bill Wild, former Detroit Police Chief and Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans, Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara of Belleville, and Ficano along with a half-dozen other candidates.
The winner of the Aug. 5 Democratic primary is expected to receive far less than 50 percent of the vote because support in the race is fractured. The Democratic primary victor is expected to easily defeat the Republican challenger in the Nov. 4 general election.
Cavanagh emerged as the best candidate for the job following a candidate forum in March, said Al Garrett, president of AFSCME Council 25.
Last week Evans was endorsed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Evans also has the support of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and the Michigan Carpenters union. Wild has been endorsed by the Detroit Regional Chamber and has the support of Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr.
McNamara has been endorsed by the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party.
The powerful United Auto Workers, which has supported Ficano in the past, has endorsed no candidate in the race this year.