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— The presence of state Rep. Fred Durhal Jr. of Detroit continues to loom largein the Democratic primary contest to replace him after three terms in office.

Six candidates are vying for Durhal’s seat in the largely Democratic district that represents parts of Detroit, including Corktown, Delray and southwest Detroit. But the top contenders are Durhal’s son, Fred Durhal III, and his former chief of staff, Ishmail Terry, a political observer said.


Durhal has maintained substantial support in the district, so the younger Durhal has a chance to win if the state representative gets district voters to cast ballots for his son, Metro Detroit political analyst Eric Foster said. Others in the race don’t have the ability to raise the $30,000 to $50,000 needed to overcome the strong name recognition, he added.


“(Fred Durhal III) has a significant opportunity to take the seat,” said Foster of LM3 Management, who worked for Durhal Jr. during his unsuccessful Detroit mayoral campaign last year and is not working for any candidates in House District 5 primary. “Ishmail worked for Fred, but it's not like he can use that as an endorsement because Fred is going to endorse his son.


“Will Fred III be able to raise enough money to maintain his father's base of support for him? That’s the race.”


Others in the Democratic primary are Cynthia Johnson, Ja’meka Armstrong, Tonya Renay Wells and William ScottPhillips.


The younger Durhal, 30, credits himself with learning the ropes from his dad by “observing how government service works.” As the district office manager for his father, Durhal III said he is “the only candidate to have spent time sitting on the House floor … observing legislative sessions on a regular basis.”


Among Durhal’s priorities are creating an urban agenda to address issues for all Michigan cities. His platform includes opposing the Education Achievement Authority, the state-created entity that oversees 15 former failing Detroit public schools; tax breaks to businesses that outsource jobs; and the city’s emergency manager.


He supports this year’s new anti-scrap-metal theft law and wants to create a permanent plan for road maintenance.

“I’m not a novice when it comes to the legislative side of things. I know how to get things done,” Durhal said.


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From The Detroit News: 



July 5, 2014 at 1:00 am

Michigan: Democratic primary contest for state Rep. Durhal's seat

Rep. Durhal's son, ex-top aide among primary contenders


Darren A. Nichols​

The Detroit News


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December 6, 2013

Durhal: Continuing the Legacy of Leadership

Rep. Durhal's son, Fred Durhal III will run for his father's open State House seat.


Press Release:


Fred Durhal III has announced his candidacy for Michigan's 5th House District. The seat is currently held by his father, State Representative Fred Durhal, Jr., who is the Dean of the Michigan House of Representatives, and is in his final term of office.


Durhal, credits his experience to being the only candidate who has regularly observed legislative session on the House Floor on a daily basis. Being taught and trained by his father Rep. Durhal (5th District), he has also observed committees and hearings held and has experienced extensive training in the Appropriations process. Spending time in Lansing, Durhal has built a strong relationship with other public officials and leaders in the State Government.


"I am particularly interested in the lack of investment from our State in the City of Detroit and other urban areas across Michigan," stated Durhal. “Detroit is the heart of Michigan, and without the heart, the body dies." said Durhal.


Durhal went on further to speak to Detroit's financial crisis in regards to Revenue Sharing; "The cut to Detroit's Statutory Revenue Sharing, had a tremendous effect on the city's ability to provide its core services such as Public Safety and other city services. Now, in the City of Detroit, we are under the control of an Emergency Manager who was not elected by the people, who has dictatorial power and the ability to decide the fate of Detroit's finances and Assets." said Durhal.


"During the last two legislative sessions there have been attacks on the seniors, women, children, and workers, and Michigan’s Middle Class." said Durhal. "This Republican led legislature has imposed harmful legislation to destroy the safety net in Michigan. There have been cuts to Cash Assistance which has been cut to 48 months lifetime retroactively, Unemployment has been cut from 26-20 weeks, and there has been imposed taxes on senior's pensions." Durhal said. "In Michigan, we are also failing our children." 


"We have not invested enough in education, particularly Detroit public schools. In Detroit, the average per pupil allocation is $7,800, per pupil per year. If you compare that to the amount we spend on the incarceration of one prisoner in Michigan, we are spending $37,500 to house one prisoner. There is something wrong with this picture. The Corrections budget for the State of Michigan is over $2 Billion dollars, and we have over-crowded classrooms, a lack of supplies and resources, and eliminated Arts and after-school programs. With the lack of resources and investment, schools are becoming a breeding ground for prisons." stated Durhal.


"Women have been told what they can and cannot do with their bodies. They have been told their choice does not matter when it comes to the termination of a pregnancy. They have done everything possible to make sure that it is difficult for woman's right to choose, even if the woman has been a victim of rape."


"Not to mention the attack on our workers who make Michigan what it is today." says Durhal, speaking on Michigan's Workers. With the implementation of Right to Work, which is the "Right to Work for less", they have turned the clock back over 50 years with our Unions. They [Republicans] have continued an all-out assault on collective bargaining." says Durhal. "It is time to return Michigan back to its citizens and stop the process of turning Michigan into a corporate entity. I am ready to fight for my city and District in Lansing because I have been raised and trained to do it."


Durhal attended Detroit Public School where he graduated from the Detroit School of Arts and later attended Eastern Michigan University majoring in Political Science. Durhal is an Eleanor Roosevelt Member of the Michigan Democratic Party, and a member of Young Democrats of America, the Detroit Branch of the NAACP, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and a former member of the Teamster’s Union. He is also a former board member of the Dexter Elmhurst Community Center, and is currently the President of Wayne County Progress PAC.