Howard University student launches underdog campaign for Detroit mayor

Townsel, AndraeA Detroit native and doctoral student at Howard University has assembled a campaign team in a longshot bid to become the city’s next mayor, he announced today.

“I’ve hired my campaign managers, strategic media consultants and financial director,” Andrae Townsel said.

Not yet 30 years old, Townsel knows he’s an underdog. But with various degrees from Howard University, a successful college football career and a graduate of Cass Tech High School, Townsel thrives on challenges.

“I went away to college so that I may specifically see how other cities are run,” the former college football player said. “I have been preparing to serve the citizens of Detroit ever since I left. I consider myself on a non-stop professional development for public service.”

Townsel joins other mayoral candidates: Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon; Mike Duggan, former CEO of Detroit Medical Center; former city attorney Krystal Crittendon and state Reps. Lisa Howze and Fred Durhal Jr.

Mayor Bing has not announced yet whether he plans to run for a second term.

“I want to be mayor of Detroit so that I may restore faith and confidence in city government,” Townsel said.

It’s going to require regional cooperation, he said.

“I think former mayors struggled with collaborating with neighboring cities in our region,” he said. “It appears to be an invisible wall surrounding the perimeters of Detroit, which repels major businesses and potential residents from settling.

Unlike the other mayoral candidates, Townsel tipped his hat to Mayor Bing for improving the city’s image.

“We were moving in reverse until Mayor Bing took over,” Townsel said. “Now, we are just now putting our gear into drive. Once I take office, Detroit will officially move forward.”

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.