District 3: Scott Benson vs. Russ Bellant

istrict 3 (Van Dyke, Seven Mile) incumbent Scott Benson will be challenged by Russ Bellant Tamara. Benson is a seasoned politician while Bellant has had experience as a City of Detroit employee. BLAC chatted with both candidates to discuss the challenges facing Detroit and their district.

Scott Benson

Age: 48

Education background: Masters degree, urban planning

Bio: Since becoming Councilman of the 3rd District in January 2014, Benson has been a tireless and innovative leader working to bring jobs into the community and making public safety and quality of life his top priorities. His primary goal is to make District 3 a community where families settle and grow, and where the youth and seniors thrive and prosper. Scott has served 24 years in the United States Coast Guard, and has helped to create or received commitments on jobs for the district.


On why voters should choose him…

I have been working in getting results. We’ve been able to bring over $150 million jobs in development to the 3rd district and 1,000 jobs to the district. We’ve knocked down 2,000 homes. Our office is responsible for providing free recycle bins to the City of Detroit, which has increased our recycling rate citywide from 4 percent to over 20 percent.

On the most pressing issue facing the city of Detroit…

The biggest issue facing Detroit, you can’t just give one – it’s a huge city. Jobs, public safety and blight. Education should be thrown in there as well…

On an issue specific to his district and how he plans to address it…

Jobs. That's the issue.


Russ Bellant

Age: 59

Education background: BA in History, Wayne State University

Bio: Bellant is president of the Helco Block Club, as well as his neighborhood association. He also serves as treasurer of the Ninth Precinct Community Relations Council and VP of the eastside AARP chapter, and was recently appointed to serve another six-year term on the Detroit Library Commission.

On why voters should choose him…

I have a different approach and outlook on the origins and sources of blight creation in the city, and what we can do to arrest it, and eventually reverse it. Based on my experience in working with multiple agencies in city government over the 15-year period, six years on the Library Commission, my two and half years working I the state legislature. I should also add, several decades of involvement with the Detroit Public Schools. I have a pretty well rounded understanding of policy and issues that affect the city of Detroit and its people. I’m ready to put my experience to work for the people.

On the most pressing issue facing the city of Detroit…

I think the biggest facing Detroit, aside form job creation, is the proliferation of blight in neighborhoods, and the resources and attention given to the downtown area while neighborhoods get a secondary consideration. And I know there’s people who will protest that, but I will adamantly insist that this is true.

On an issue specific to his district and how he plans to address it…

Jobs are probably always the big issue because that addresses the poverty, some of the blight issues, and education issues as well – it impacts everything. Jobs are always going to be number one…the lack thereof…of good paying jobs.

Want to read what the candidates in the other districts had to say? Head back to the main election page.

Facebook Comments



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here