Several Detroit City Council members won't seek reelection
Correction: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of the name of District 4 City Council candidate Daivon Reeder.
Detroit — New representation is in store this fall for many Detroit residents as nearly half of the incumbents on the City Council are not seeking new terms.
Indicted District 7 Councilman Gabe Leland is foregoing another run as well as District 4 Councilman Andre Spivey, who represents the east side, and District 6 Councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López, the first Latina elected to the council whose district covers southwest Detroit. Council President Brenda Jones also did not submit petitions for another bid by the 4 p.m. deadline, according to city election records.
Overall, 45 candidates filed petitions for seven City Council district seats and two at-large seats, including five incumbents seeking to retain their seats: James Tate, Roy McCalister Jr., Scott Benson, Janeé Ayers and President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield.
Ayers has filed to retain her at-large seat on the council. Others filing to join that race include Charter Commissioner Nicole Small, Royce Kinniebrew, Steven Lett, Mary Waters,Jermain Jones and former state senator Coleman A. Young II, who took on Duggan in the 2017 race for mayor. Reached Tuesday, Young declined to comment.
Jones previously had pulled petitions for the at-large race. She and her chief of staff did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment. On Wednesday, Jones' office released a statement confirming her decision to step down.
Jones touted a $1.5 million investment in a skilled trades readiness fund, her efforts to get a stricter law passed in Detroit for owners of dangerous animals and a community outreach ordinance aimed at ensuring residents are informed about budgeting, property sales, neighborhood planning and surveillance technology contracts.
As she finishes out her term, Jones said she'll continue to focus on "access and equity" for Detroit businesses and residents on city contracts funded with Detroit tax dollars.
"The city will always be my heart and soul," she said. "I send best wishes to the next term of Council men and women who will continue the work we started. I have fought for and with residents to guarantee opportunities for all Detroiters. I will continue to stand with Detroit. Detroit is my home."
Spivey said earlier this year that he intended to pursue an at-large bid rather than another term representing the east side district. But he told The News Tuesday he has ruled out another run for office.
"Now is a good opportunity to elect new leadership and I am focusing on completing my law degree," Spivey, a Cass Tech graduate who was first elected in November 2009, told The News in a text message.
Leland declared in March that he wouldn't seek a third term just days before he was arraigned on felony charges of misconduct in office. Prosecutors have accused him of accepting $7,500 in cash for his 2017 reelection campaign and free car repairs in exchange for his vote on a land deal. The state charges were issued in June while Leland awaits a federal trial on three counts of bribery. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2018 on bribery and conspiracy charges.
After the petitions are canvassed, candidates with enough signatures will be certified within seven to 10 days.
In District 1, Tate is seeking his fourth term. Darryl Brown, Krystal Larsosa, Quincy Coleman also have filed petitions for the northwest Detroit district.
For District 2, McCalister is being challenged by residents Angela Calloway, Michael Evans, Jaylin Harris, Levan Adams and Andrew Tyus, who filed petitions for the race. McCalister is seeking his second term.
District 4 candidates include youth mentor Toson Knight, journalist M.L. Elrick, Anemashaun Bomani, former judge and state senator Virgil Smith, Latisha Johnson, Kenneth Snapp, Corey Gilchrist and Daivon Reeder.
In District 5, as of Tuesday afternoon, Sheffield was the only candidate to file petitions.
In District 6, Hector Santiago, David Sanchez, Myamika Jordan and Gabriela Santiago-Romero, who was recruited and is supported by Castañeda-López, all filed to run.
In District 7, Regina Ross, Detroit Charter Commissioner JoAnna Underwood, Angy Webb, of the city's Joy Community Association, Frederick Durhal, Terrell George, Ericka Murria, DeQuincy Hyatt, Robert Dunlap, William Davis and John Bennett, who formerly challenged Leland for the seat, all had filed petitions.
Detroit City Council members earn $89,546 per year and the president earns $94,111.