Detroit just finished one of its most lackluster mayoral primaries ever. Mayor Mike Duggan was never seriously tested in the campaign.
The mayor raised $1.6 million compared to $22,000 by his strongest challenger, state Sen. Coleman Young II.
The general election promises to play out the same way.
That’s too bad for the city. Duggan has been a strong mayor, and has the city moving forward.
But no elected office should be taken for granted.
Vigorous challenges help hold politicians accountable, and force them to aggressively defend their records.
Voters deserve the opportunity to pick from two candidates who offer different visions for the city’s future, and have the means to get their messages out.
But the way this election season is unfolding, the fall campaign will be little more than an affirmation of Duggan and his policies.
If he doesn’t face a stiffer challenge over the next three months than he did this summer, he can afford to play it safe, to brag instead of explain.
A better resourced challenger would be able to press the mayor on tough questions, such as the troubled operation of the land bank, and unfilled promises, such as the repopulation of Detroit.
A harder fought election would force an honest discussion about what’s happening in the neighborhoods and whether the current course will get them to where they need to go.
As it looks now, though, Duggan can coast into November without having to risk exposing himself to a punch.