Coleman A. Young II picks up petitions for mayoral run

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Petitions for Detroit mayor were picked up Monday for state Sen. Coleman A. Young II, according to the city’s Department of Elections, making the Detroit Democrat a possible high-profile challenger to Mayor Mike Duggan.

If Young follows through, he would be the biggest name so far to consider going up against Duggan, who announced more than two weeks ago that he would seek a second four-year term.

Records show about 25 candidates have picked up petitions for the Aug. 8 primary race. The filing deadline is April 25.

Young is the only son of Detroit’s first African-American mayor, Coleman Alexander Young, who served for five terms from 1974-94. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2009 when he was a state representative.

Young was named Joel Loving and lived in California until his mother, former Detroit Department of Public Works official Annivory Calvert, sued then-Mayor Young and confirmed paternity in blood tests after the mayor initially contested the allegation.

Loving was renamed Coleman A. Young Jr. in Michigan court records by his father to match his baptismal records. He eventually returned to Detroit, where he landed an internship at City Hall in 2005.

Young, who serves in Michigan’s 1st District, collected petitions after several media outlets reported that the Detroit Democrat hinted at his intentions during a Sunday broadcast program on 88.1 WHPR Radio & TV.

Young set himself apart during Detroit’s bankruptcy by opposing the state of Michigan’s approval of $195 million in state aid for Detroit pensioners and 13 years of oversight of city finances in a nine-bill package.

Young rejected all nine bills and was the only Senate Democrat to oppose the oversight legislation, arguing the oversight commission would legalize “inter-state colonialism” in the predominately black city.

“It simply won’t do for my city, my friends, my neighbors, my constituents who will be put under the thumb of another body hand-picked by this administration to enact policies in their own best interests, not Detroit’s,” Young said in June 2014.

Duggan backed the package as a way to assist the city’s retirees and get the city out of bankruptcy.

Duggan said Feb. 4 he would seek re-election during an event attended by a crowd of about 650 at the Samaritan Center. At the time, the mayor made clear he anticipated competition in the race.

“There will be a campaign,” he said. “This is Detroit.”