13 Detroit mayoral candidates sound off during televised debate - New York News

13 Detroit mayoral candidates sound off during televised debate

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Mike Duggan Mike Duggan
DETROIT (WJBK) -

From emergency management to bankruptcy, 13 Detroit mayoral candidates sounded off on several topics during a televised debate Tuesday night.

The candidates debated in groups of four or five. They brought up some of the obvious issues, including the high crime, lack of services and the dire financial situation, but we did not hear a lot of specific plans.

There was also a lot of finger pointing. Things got heated when they started speaking about the emergency manager and whether they could work with him. Candidate Krystal Crittendon came out and said she would not.

"I am going to say something that you will not hear my running mates say. If elected, I will fire Kevyn Orr," Crittendon said.

"How would you fire him when he doesn't report to you without creating chaos in the city?" she was asked.

"If you don't think that there is chaos now, you haven't been paying attention. The emergency manager right now cannot do anything in city government if the employees who are appointed by the mayor and respond to the mayor do not allow him to do it," Crittendon responded.

"The law is the law, and we are obliged to follow the law. How are you going to fire somebody and you don't have the authority? Being mayor of the City of Detroit is about having the power and the authority of the office to make things happen, and you cannot do it if he can just simply wipe your office out with the stroke of a pen," said Fred Durhal.

A lot of people also paid attention when the candidates spoke about who might be behind new write-in candidate Mike Dugeon, a barber from Detroit. Mike Duggan said he had a conversation with Benny Napoleon about that before the debate.

"He tells me that he had nothing to do with it, and I take him at his word. And so I'm not really going to focus on who put the person in the race. The fact of the matter is however it happened, it's pretty insulting to Detroiters. It basically says they don't believe that the voters of this community are capable of spelling a six letter name," Duggan said.

"It wasn't you?" Sheriff Benny Napoleon was asked.

"Let me just suggest this to you. I have watched many races in track and field. I've never seen the guy in front reach back and trip the person behind him," he said.

Dugeon was not a part of the debate, which was planned before he entered the race. We were told he contacted WADL-TV and asked to be included. They tried to do an interview with him Tuesday, but he was a no-show. He was also invited to participate in their post-debate coverage, but again was a no-show.

There were a lot of jabs from Tom Barrow, who called himself Mayor Bing 2.0.

"Conservatives want the city's jewels and to bust our unions, privatize city functions and steal our pensions. Resolute I have been strong against them. Before you are the faces of those conservatives masquerading here as objective panelists," he said at one point.

At the end of the debate they did a lightening round. One of the questions was what to do with Belle Isle. A majority of the candidates basically said hands off, don't touch it. We did hear Duggan say that he would actually be in favor of generating revenue by charging a fee that would be approved by City Council.

In the end, with 13 different candidates and only two hours, it was very hard for anybody to really elaborate anything.

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