Charles Pugh won't run for mayor, seeks return to TV

Charles Pugh won't run for mayor, seeks return to TV

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Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh

By FOX 2 News Staff

WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) -- Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh will not run for mayor. Instead, the former FOX 2 reporter will seek a return to broadcast journalism when his term expires at the end of the year.

Pugh made the announcement during a stop at WWJ's Winter Survival Radiothon at Art Van Furniture in Warren Friday morning.

"I want to be an integral part of the newsroom," Pugh told FOX 2's Amy Andrews. "I have a different perspective now on how things work. I want to be able to use my new skill set."

The news comes after a recent poll placed Pugh among the frontrunners in the race for Detroit mayor. In 2009, he made history when he became the first openly gay member of the Detroit City Council.

"I love this city," said Pugh. "When I take my next step, I will still be focused on serving this community, but I will just serve it in a different place."

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon and former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan are among those running for mayor, or exploring the possibility of campaigning.

Read below for a full transcript of Pugh's interview with Andrews:

What made you change your mind about running for mayor?

You know, I've been thinking about this for quite some time. In fact, I ran for city council so that I could run for mayor. But I realized that the rough and tumble, knockdown dirty part of politics, I never wanted that. I really wanted to serve the community.

There are some talented people in this race who are much better suited for the warrior nature of being in public service. It's a daunting job and I have a skill set that I'm proud of. I think that we've been really successful on the city council. But I think that elected public service has a shelf life. And for me, it's going to be four years.

You're not giving up on Detroit. You're not doing this because you don't think you can turn the city around?

No. It's going to take everybody. It's going to take the community. It's going to take the media. It's going to take the business community. It's going to take the city council and the mayor's office; the state; the county; the federal government. We have a really complicated problem that's going to take a complicated, comprehensive solution where everybody has a role. I certainly am not giving up on the city of Detroit. In fact, I'm firmly planted here as a citizen who is really dedicated. I love this city. When I take my next step, I will still be focused on serving this community, but I will just serve it in a different place.

What if a network calls?

(Laughing) I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I doubt very seriously that networks would be calling. But if they do, I'll give them serious consideration. The reality is, I'm really dedicated to the city. I want to be here. I could have gone other places before I came home. But I chose to come back home for a reason because this is my home. I think that we need people that are going to stay here and be dedicated to focusing shining light on the problems that we have been having for quite some time and to help us figure out what the problems are and what the solutions are.

You used to work for FOX 2. Have you heard from any other stations?

(Clearing his throat) It would be a year before I would be available to do anything so it's time now to really start having those conversations. Television has changed in the last four years. There's more of a focus now online and the deadlines are different. The technology is updated. It's a different medium now. But I will say this -- I will start those conversations now. Now that I've been very clear.

You have that resume tape brushed up?

(Laughing) I'm a little rusty. It's been four years.

What do you want to do?

I want to be an integral part of the newsroom. Whatever newsroom I go to, I think that also influencing the management decisions is important to me as well because I have a different perspective now on how things work. I want to be able to use my new skill set.

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