Wayne County Executive Warren Evans will seek re-election this November, he announced Monday at a campaign event.
Evans said while the county has made improvements in many areas — notably in stabilizing its finances under his watch — there is more work to do.
“I am happy, elated to have served Wayne County for as many years in my life as I have and the last three years as county executive,” Evans said. “I plan to do it for four more.”
Evans said he has helped straighten out the county’s budget, which faced a financial emergency with deficits earlier in his term.
He also touted gains in economic development, saying more companies are choosing to open offices and add jobs in Wayne County.
“Things are getting better financially,” Evans said. “We are getting to a point where we can expand services.”
If re-elected, Evans said he hopes to focus on repairing roads, creating walkable neighborhoods and increasing connectivity between the county’s parks.
Regional transportation is also a priority, he said. Evans is leading an effort to get another regional transportation millage on the ballot this November.
Metro Detroit voters narrowly rejected a regional transit tax in 2016.
Dozens of elected officials and top county department heads attended Monday’s campaign event at the Samaritan Center.
Mayor Mike Duggan praised Evans for keeping Wayne County out of bankruptcy and avoiding the appointment of an emergency manager by the state.
“All these straight balanced budgets,” Duggan said. “And now what everybody’s talking about is Wayne County is one of the best run governments anywhere in the state.”
Wayne County Commission Chairman Gary Woronchak said the county has made a remarkable comeback since Evans took office.
“It is undisputed that great progress has been made and is still occurring today,” Woronchak said.
Evans was elected county executive in November 2014. He formerly was Wayne County sherriff and Detroit police chief.
Throughout his first term, Evans has sought solutions for the partially built county jail in Greektown. Late last year, he announced his office would move forward with a proposal from billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert to build a criminal justice complex, including a jail, on city-owned land near Gratiot and I-75.
Gilbert has proposed to replace the unfinished jail site with mixed-use development.
The Wayne County Commission has yet to approve the deal.