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5-Way Primary Race Shaping Up for Wayne County Executive

A political strategist says the crowded field could benefit scandal-ridden Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, who announced Monday that he is seeking a fourth term.

A former Detroit police chief and an unsuccessful Detroit mayoral candidate have entered the race to replace Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, who announced Monday he would seek a fourth term.

Warren Evans, Detroit’s police chief until he was fired in July 2010 after then-mayor Dave Bing called his judgment into question for hawking a reality television program and engaging in a personal relationship with a subordinate, filed paperwork Monday, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Also new to the race is Sigmunt John Szczepkowski Jr., who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year.

They join declared candidates Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara, Westland Mayor William Wild and State Rep. Phil Cavanagh had submitted paperwork with Wayne County elections officials. Candidates have until Tuesday afternoon to file papers for the Aug. 5 primary.

Ficano, who confirmed Friday that he would seek a fourth term, said he will focus on education, enterprise and investment opportunities that will attract people to Wayne County and stem an exodus that resulted in an 11.7 percent population decline from 2000-2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.

Ficano has been dogged by scandal over the last two and one-half years, but the more crowded the race becomes, the greater his chances to win the Democratic primary and, likely, a fourth term in heavily Democratic Wayne County,  political consultant from GMT Strategies in Lansing told the Free Press.

“Honestly, I think Ficano — if he was running on his own — would be in trouble. But the more people who get in, the lower number (of votes) he has to get to win,” Stephanie McLean said. “How many of these folks are going to raise some money and be serious?”

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