In a Sept. 15 report on the results of the Detroit mayoral primary race, it was incorrectly stated because of an editing error that Mayor Coleman. A Young's success in the election was due to a turnout of black voters as high as 95 per cent in certain areas. Actually, Young received as much as 95 per cent of the total vote in some black areas of the city.
This city's white voters, who traditionally have supported white candidates, demonstrated in Tuesday's mayoral primary that they can pull the lever for a black.
The result of that dramatic change in voting patterns here is that for the first time in a major American city two black candidates will face each other in a runoff election for mayor.
But, even though both candidates in the Nov. 8 runoff are black, voting patterns in the primary indicated that the city's electorate - roughly divided 50-50 between blacks and whites - may be as polarized as it has been in past elections that featured a black versus a white candidate.
Mayor Coleman A. Young, the city's first black mayor. ran away in the nonpartisan primary. Final returns today showed that the 59-year-old incumbent, who is seeking a second term, got 55.1 per cent of the vote, far better than any of his campaign advisers had predicted.
The key to Young's success according to preliminary checks of the city's precincts, was a high black turnout, as much as 95 per cent in certain areas.
Second place and the right to challenge Young in November went to Ernest C. Brown Jr., a 51-year-old who has served two terms on the city council. Browne received 21.1 per cent of the vote.
"This was the test to see if Detroit's white voters could unite around a black candidate," said one of Browne's campaign associates.
Browne found the backbone of his support in white areas, where certain key precincts showed him polling around 44 per cent of the vote.
Browne managed this despite opposition from two white challengers - a building contractor and a university law professor - who together received only 19 per cent of the vote.
Browne's campaign strategy was aimed at persuading white votes opposed to Young that Browne was the best bet to unseat the mayor. Browne estimated that he spent twice as much time courting white votes as he did campaigning among blacks.
Young and Browne emerged early as major contenders in the primary, and their campaigning had racially divisive overtones.
Browne, who identifies himself as standing for "firm and vigorous law enforcement." won the endorsement of the largely white Detroit police and firefighter unions, whose support has traditionally been coveted by white candidates.
Both of these organizations have been alienated by the Young administration's vigorous backing of affirmative action programs to increase the numbers of blacks and women in th police department and by residency rules that force all city employees to live in Detroit.
Browne's white support prompted Young at one point to call the councilman the "first black white hope in the history of politics." Browne countered by labeling the remark racist.
Young, whose allegiance to his long time inner city constituents has made him an object of fear and even hatred among many of Detroit's whites, eventually backed off.
But Tuesday, as he made his victory statement to a predoninantly black crowd at a downtown hotel. Young said that Browne "ran the racist campaign." He added. "I promise not to make any reference to race if my opponent stops lying."
An interesting sidelight to the primary, which was dominated by the mayor's contest, was the race for the city council, which narrowed a field of 80 candidates to 18 seeking nine seats in the Nov. 8 election.
There were seven incumbents seeking re-election and all made it to the runoff. The strongest finisher among the nonincumbents was Kenneth V. Cockrel, an attorney who holds Marxist views.
Cockrel, who has successfully defended numerous widely publicized criminal cases here, was endorsed by the Detroit News, an afternoon newspaper that traditionally has endorsed conservative candidates.
Detroit voters yesterday approved the first property tax rise in 11 years. The $3 million tax increase will allow the city school system to restore sports, music and art classes that had been eliminated when higher taxes were rejected twice last year.