After backing James in 2018 bid, GOP Sterling Heights mayor endorses Peters

    John James (left) and Gary Peters (right) | Photos by Ken Coleman and Andrew Roth

    Michael Taylor, the GOP mayor of Sterling Heights, announced Friday he is endorsing U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) for reelection. Taylor said Peters has a track record of working across the aisle to get things done for Michigan. 

    Taylor backed John James, a Farmington Hills businessman and Republican nominee for U.S. Senate who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) two years ago. The Republican is trying to unseat Peters in Congress’ upper chamber this year. 

    Michael Taylor, Sterling Heights mayor | City of Sterling Heights photo

    “In 2018, I endorsed John James and supported his run for U.S. Senate, but today the choice is clear, I am endorsing Sen. Peters for reelection,” said Taylor. “Gary has delivered for Sterling Heights. He was pivotal, working in a bipartisan manner, to secure the money we needed to rebuild Mound Road, he supported our firefighters and first responders with his advocacy for our SAFER grant to improve service to our residents, and he has been a fierce advocate for our small businesses, suppliers, auto manufacturers, and our aerospace and defense industry. Macomb County and Sterling Heights lead the way in all of these sectors, and Senator Peters understands that and understands us.”

    James’ campaign did not respond to an email and call on Friday. 

    Taylor was sworn-in as mayor of Sterling Heights, Michigan’s fourth-largest city, in December 2014, filling a vacancy created after the death of Mayor Richard Notte. Elections in Sterling Heights are nonpartisan, but Taylor identifies as a Republican. He was elected in 2015 and reelected in 2017. 

    Taylor said in a Detroit Free Press story earlier this year that he voted for former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary election on March 10. 

    Peters said he’s been “proud” to work with Taylor to “strengthen economic opportunities and support Macomb County’s automotive, aerospace and defense manufacturers. Now more than ever, Michigan families want leaders who can work together and get things done for them. It’s an honor to have Mayor Taylor’s support as we continue to deliver bipartisan solutions that put Michigan first.” 

    Ken Coleman
    Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.