Veteran attorney announces run for Detroit mayor

William Noakes has served as counsel in both the private and public sector throughout his entire career.

A veteran attorney has tossed his hat into the ring to become Detroit’s mayor.

William Noakes, 60, a former Meijer executive who now manages his own firm, will kick off his campaign Thursday at Greater Christ Baptist Church in Detroit.

“Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last book bore the title ‘Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?’ At its heart was a plea for community,” Noakes writes. “In this election, we stand on the precipice of a great choice. Will we choose community – the inclusive community of which Dr. King spoke? To make that community a reality is why I enter this campaign for mayor.”

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Noakes is no stranger to politics; he helped lead the charge in the campaign for former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer’s successful first run for the city’s highest public office in 1994. 

Before founding Noakes & Associates, a firm specializing in ethics, due diligence and corporate investigations, he was executive vice president at Meijer, after having joined the Grand Rapids-based grocery chain as general counsel.

Of all the announced candidates in the increasingly crowded race – that includes incumbent Mike Duggan, State Sen. Coleman Young II, artist Ingrid LaFleur and students Myya D. Jones and Ken Snapp – Noakes brings a lengthy legal resume. Noakes was senior associate independent counsel in U.S. v. Espy, a criminal corruption trial of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy. He has also held counsel positions with the Securities and Exchange Commission, General Motors and Wayne County.

Noakes has also taught law at the University of Chicago and University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he currently teaches. He is also an assistant minister at the aforementioned church.

Noakes’ announcement is noon at Greater Christ Baptist Church, 3544 Iroquois Ave, Detroit.

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