Mike Duggan's first challenge: Making connections in Lansing - New York News

Mike Duggan's first challenge: Making connections in Lansing

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Mike Duggan during his victory speech on Election Day Mike Duggan during his victory speech on Election Day
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Mayor-elect Mike Duggan has his first challenge in his desire to form working relationships at the state capitol.  Some believe he can do it, others are already feeling slighted.

Watch the report from Fox 2's Tim Skubick in the video player above or read it below.

The mayor-elect of Detroit says he wants to work with Lansing.

This senator says Duggan knows how to do it:  "Absolutely. He's had to do it for nine years at the DMC, and before that, with the county for 14 years," says Sen. Tupac Hunter.

Tell that to this Detroit Democrat Fred Durhal Jr. who is still waiting for that phone call from Mr. Duggan. "I'm on the approrpiations committee of the House, former Chair of the Black Caucus. I think I should get a phone call," says Durhal.

Tim Skubick asks him, "What does this demonstrate in your mind?"

Durhal responds, "Probably a little lack of political sophistication about how to deal with the legislature."

The mayor-elect is doing much better with the Senate Republican leader, Randy Richardville. He calls Duggan a friend and says they can work together - except when it comes to a bailout.

Skubick: The state's check book is not going to be wide open for Detroit?

Richardville: No. Never has been, never should be. ... But number one? They need to fix their structure first.

Skubick: And if they don't? They'll get nothing out of here?

Richardville: Well, no, we're not a bailout kind of program.

Ditto from the House Republican speaker. "We'll wait for that," says Representative Jase Bolger. Skubick notices a smile on his face, and Bolger says it's "because more money has not proven the answer. More money has proven not to solve the problems for Detroiters. In my visit there that was clear. More money to the city government of Detroit has not meant better lives for the people of Detroit." He continues, "This needs to be something that we do with Detroit, not to Detroit."

Mr. Duggan will need outstate Republican support for anything he wants from the state lawmakers, and so far nobody has said no.

"If he's willing to work and get Detroit back on board, and back in shape, I think it's important that the state of Michigan, including us up north - we can't write off Detroit," says Representative Ray Franz from Onekama, Mich.

The Speaker has invited the mayor to come town next week. Maybe that will give him a chance to mend some fences with Durhal.

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