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Skubick: Detroit's new mayor should cozy up to Lansing lawmakers

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Today in Detroit citizens will elect a new mayor, or more appropriately they'll elect the administrative assistance to the un-elected city Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

Candidate Benny Napoleon has pledged if he's elected he won't work with Mr. Orr while candidate Mike Duggan says he will. The polls suggest Mr. Duggan may get his chance.

But the good folks in the Motor City will decide that.

Whomever wins will have one assignment the former Mayor Dave Bing muffed. If he had a relationship with state lawmakers, it was the best kept secret in town. As one insider put it, the former NBA star never understood that politics, like B-ball, is a contact sport and he was a "fish out of water."

Perceived by some to be above it all, Mr. Bing, never got in the trenches with the boys and girls in this town. Oh sure he showed up occasionally, but that's not how to build trust and friendships which inevitably come into play when you need something from Lansing.

Right now, regardless of who wins, there won't be a hand out to Motown.

But following a guided tour of the crumbling neighborhoods in Detroit, GOP Speaker Jase Bolger said all the right things about wanting to do something to help as he adopted the time-honored mantra around here, 'As Detroit goes, so goes the state.' The governor has said that for years and the Senate GOP leader has, too. The new mayor should take them up on that.

Democrats are on board but they still need to be stroked and not taken for granted.

Consequently it would behoove either Mr. Duggan or Mr. Napoleon to establish a beach head in the capitol and not wait for an engraved invite to show up. Mr. Duggan has already sent the signal that he will be up here a week after the election, if he wins.  Reportedly there's been no such signal from Mr. Napoleon.

If the new Mayor wants to turn the city around, showing the flag in Lansing can help, even if there is not an immediate salute from everyone.

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