Coleman A. Young II Leads in Poll for Detroit Council at-Large Seat

February 22, 2021, 6:22 PM by  Allan Lengel

Coleman A. Young II

Coleman A. Young II, who ran for mayor in 2017, leads in a poll of six potential candidates for Detroit City Council's two at-large seats.  

The poll, released Monday to Deadline Detroit, was conducted by Target-Insyght and comissioned by the Black Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party. 

It shows 25 percent of voters favor Young, followed by Councilman André Spivey with 18 percent and Councilwoman Janeé Ayers with 13 percent.

The poll assumes Council President Brenda Jones, who currently holds one of the at-large seats, will not run this year as she has indicated. Ayers holds the other at-large seat.

Others further down in the poll include Art Blackwell, the former emergency manager for Highland Park, with 8 percent support, Nicole Small of the Detroit Charter Revision Commission with 4 percent and ex-state Rep. LaTanya Garrett with 7 percent. Another 26 percent said they were undecided.

Councilman Spivey

The poll, which has a 5-percentage-point error margin, involved 400 active Detroit voters. They were given a choice of six people who have been frequently mentioned in the community as possible candidates.

On Monday afternoon, Young, a former state lawmaker and the son of the late Mayor Coleman Young, told Deadline Detroit: "I really don't have anything to say. I haven't made a decision whether to run."

Keith Williams, chairman of Michigan Democratic Party-Black Caucus, said he's not surprised that Young leads because of his name recognition and the fact that "people remember him as a great legislator." Noting that Ayers trails with the third-highest support level, he said it shows she has lot of work to do.

The caucus' goal is to inform voters and elect African Americans, Williams said. 

Ed Sarpolus, founder of the polling firm Target Insyght, said his findings indicate "there's new blood that probably will fill the top seats" on Detroit's council. He said the poll shows Ayers is going to have to expand her base to survive. 

Councilwoman Ayers

Survey results show the ethnic and racial breakdowns of the respondents.

In Young's case, he got support from 34 percent Hispanic, 31 percent Black, 10 percent white and 9 percent others.

Spivey had the support of 29 percent of the white voters surveyed, 16 percent Black,  2 percent Hispanic and 6 percent others.  Ayers had 17 percent white support, 13 percent Black and 5 percent others.

The Detroit primary is Aug. 3. The general election is Nov. 2.

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