Ficano receives endorsement for re-election bid

Ficano receives endorsement for re-election bid

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DETROIT (WJBK) -  Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano received a big endorsement for his re-election bid from Rev. Wendell Anthony, founder of the Political Action Committee.

"I think once they examine the record, people are going to be perfectly comfortable with me in re-election," says Ficano.

"This man has been in office for over 30 years, 20 years as sheriff, 12 years as Wayne County Executive. Yeah, there have been some mistakes that have been made, but there have been some mistakes made in a whole lot of cases and we still have not withdrawn support for certain individuals," Rev. Anthony says.

But Ficano has an uphill battle. In a recent poll, former county sheriff and Detroit police chief Warren Evans was declared the front runner. Ficano was pegged as last.

"Those who are last shall eventually be first," Rev. Anthony says.

He's been mired in controversy, too, giving big pensions to appointees and costing taxpayers millions with the botched jail project. Just don't say that to Ficano.

"We have not lost the money," he says. "They kept saying it was on time and on budget. The time that they came to us said, 'We want more money,'  the easy thing for government to always do is to say, 'Go ahead, we're going to eat the additional amount.' I said stop," says Ficano.

"I say Bob needs a lot of work on his accounting," says Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara. He is a candidate for Wayne County Executive.

"The bottom line is, is $160 million have been paid to the contractors, the building is not complete and you can't spin your way out of that," says McNamara.

Ficano's endorsement surprised few. Rev. Anthony's right-hand man Hester Wheeler is Ficano's deputy executive, has close ties with Rev. Anthony's Political Action Committee and was the former director of the NAACP's Detroit chapter. Rev. Anthony is its president.

Though Rev. Anthony says, "It's not about the man, it is about the plan."

Ficano has come up with two options for a new jail site and is making strides to reduce the county deficit to make sure it does not get an emergency manager.

Since the race has no strong Republican candidate, the race will essentially be decided on the August 5 primary.


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