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Duggan wins Detroit retirees' endorsement

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

A group representing more than 12,000 city retirees has endorsed Mike Duggan for Detroit mayor.

The Detroit Retired City Employee Organization is throwing its weight behind Duggan because, according to member John Eddings, “The city needs to get it right this time.”

“And looking at the candidates, there’s only one person who has the demonstrated ability to take care of the problems that we have,” Eddings said. “And that person is Mike Duggan.”

Retirees are one of the groups most directly impacted by Detroit’s bankruptcy. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr has suggested the city will try to cut pensions bankruptcy court. And he’s proposed basically eliminating city-sponsored retiree health care.

Duggan says that as mayor, he believes he can help chart Orr’s course—and protect retirees.

“And when it comes to pensions, I’ve said this over and over: the pensions were earned by employees for years of service,” Duggan said. “They are sacrosanct. They ought not to be tampered with. And I’m going to be fighting every day to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

The endorsement is a boost for Duggan—though a large portion of Detroit’s roughly 20,000 retirees aren’t Detroit voters.

Duggan has the support of most of Detroit’s business community, and his campaign has raised $3 million.

His opponent, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, has secured most endorsements from labor groups and Detroit state lawmakers.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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