A state representative who has been openly critical of Warren County Executive Robert Ficano on Monday announced his campaign to replace him.
State Rep. Phil Cavanagh, a Redford Township Democrat, said he was encouraged by friends and family to seek the position, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Cavanagh, 52, has a long history of public service, both as a Wayne County commissioner, a position he held for four terms, and as a state representative. He’s currently in his second term.He comes from a political family. His father, Jerome Cavanagh, was mayor of Detroit from 1962-1960.
“Wayne County must realize and deal with the harsh reality that no one is going to come to our rescue,” Cavanagh said in announcing his candidacy. “We must make the tough decisions now or the state will come in and do it for us.”
He said “Wayne County deserves better” leadership than it has been getting from Ficano, whose administration has been rocked by the scandal of a federal investigation that led to the indictment of some key aides, has built up about $225 million in debt during his three terms.
“For too long now, our region has squandered time and opportunities by electing those who have put political priorities before progress, public safety and the public trust,” Cavanagh said in a news release distributed before his announcement. “It’s time we realize that we all rise up together or we fail together. Even when leadership is strong and effective, real leadership requires listening and working for all, not only a select few.”
He said Wayne County has the resources and people to be great, but must “make the tough decisions while focusing on long-term solutions and not just on fleeting headlines.”Westland Mayor Bill Wild announced his candidacy for the office in January, and Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara announced last month. The filing deadline is April 22.