DETROIT (WXYZ) - Get ready to add one more name to the growing list of candidates running to become Detroit's next mayor.
In a one-on-one interview on WXYZ's Spotlight on the News program , Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said he will announce his decision on March 26 at the city's historic Masonic Temple. Most political observers believe he will officially enter the race.
When I asked him if Detroit residents have been urging him to run, he said with great confidence, "Absolutely!"
Napoleon set up a mayoral exploratory committee last year in early December. Since then, he has listened to the concerns of hundreds of Detroiters.
When, and If, Napoleon tosses his hat into the ring, he will join a laundry list of already announced candidates. They include former State Representative Lisa Howze, two-term Michigan State Representative Fred Durhal, Jr., former Detroit Medical Center President & CEO Mike Duggan, recently dismissed Detroit Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon, community advocate Mark Murphy, Jr., and native Detroiter Andrae Townsel who is a student in Washington, D.C..
Current Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has not yet announced if he will seek another term in office.
Napoleon isn't waiting around to see what Bing decides. He is carefully defining himself on the issues.
Napoleon has strongly opposed the appointment of an emergency financial manager for Detroit. However, he says it would be his responsibility to work with that individual if one is put in place and he is elected mayor.
Napoleon has been Wayne County Sheriff since 2009. He is a retired Detroit police officer who worked his way up through the ranks to become the city's youngest ever police chief in 1995, at the age of 43. He says Detroit's high crime rate would be his top priority and he is ready to defend why two federal consent decrees under his watch are not reasons to vote against him.
Napoleon is also not fazed by a recent poll showing that if the race for Detroit mayor were held today, he would lose to Duggan.
When asked if he could beat Duggan, Napoleon quickly replied, "The question is, can Duggan beat me?"
There's still plenty of time before voters have to casts their ballots. The primary election isn't until August 6. And the general election, where the top two contenders will square off, is on November 5, nearly eight months away.