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Mackinac Island -- The second hottest parlor and bar stool speculation here, beyond Dan Gilbert’s health, is about Mike Duggan’s political future.

The Detroit mayor seemed to settle the matter of a 2021 third-term bid in an interview Wednesday with The Detroit News at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

“I’ll do my announcement at the right time,” Duggan said. “You’ll see from my speech (Thursday) that everything I talk about is in a five or six-year window going forward,” Duggan said.

Asked if he hoped to be the one to execute those long-term plans, Duggan said, “I’ll leave for the people of Detroit to decide whether to rehire me.

“I’m certainly not going anywhere else. This will be the last political job I’ll ever have.”

Island prognosticators see the mayor as a probable cabinet choice should a Democrat win the White House in 2020, perhaps as secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Duggan said nope.

“I’m not interested in going to Washington,” he said.

Here’s what Duggan had to say on other matters:

  • Dan Gilbert. The Quicken Loans chairman, who suffered a stroke over the weekend, is Detroit’s most influential individual, and, the mayor said, a dear friend. “Our staffs know when we get together to schedule seven or eight hours because we jump from subject to subject. ... I don’t know anyone who has so integrated his business success with a city’s success. Dan has wove his company into the city.”
  • Neighborhood development. “Developers have figured out there aren’t deals in downtown and Midtown anymore. There aren’t deals in Corktown anymore. And there aren’t deals in West Village anymore. So they’re starting to move out into neighborhoods. It’s exciting. People are seeing one neighborhood after another come back.”
  • Passage of no-fault insurance reform. “Phenomenal. This is going to dramatically reduce rates. When this kicks in it’s going to make it easier for people to move into Detroit and for those already here to acknowledge they live in Detroit. Two thirds of those who live in the downtown high-rises don’t claim residency. We got a lot of people who claim to live with their sister in Ferndale or their parents in Troy, but they have their car parked downtown every night. They’ll actually be supporting police and fire services through their income taxes and voting in Detroit. Now, there is wholesale lying going on.”
  • How an FCA/Renault merger affects the Detroit plant deal. “You certainly worry about any major merger. It causes everybody to be nervous. Right now FCA can’t build enough Jeeps and Rams to meet demand.”
  • Crime. “From January through April, we saw record lows in homicides and shootings. And carjackings are 10% of what they were five years ago thanks to the Greenlight program. What we’ve seen over the last few weeks is what we’ve seen all too often, a surge in violence. So it causes us to go back and reassess everything.”
  • Divorce and his job: “I worked 16 hours before, and I will work 16 hours a day after. The better question might be how my job affected my personal life. There’s not going to be any drama. It will be handled appropriately.”

nfinley@detroitnews.com 

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