Mayoral candidates follow no-debate rule at Econ Club luncheon

Mayoral candidates follow no-debate rule at Detroit Econ Club luncheon

Posted: Updated:
The candidates take center stage at Wednesday's Detroit Economic Club's luncheon The candidates take center stage at Wednesday's Detroit Economic Club's luncheon
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

Detroit mayoral candidates Mike Duggan and Sheriff Benny Napoleon engaged in a conversation Wednesday - not a debate. Both candidates hammered talking points the city has heard before. They both oppose the emergency manager and think the state's plan to lease Belle Isle is bad for Detroit. Duggan said he'd work with Kevyn Orr until he can convince Governor Snyder to remove him. Napoleon said he wouldn't work with the EM at all. They touted their strengths and touched on what their opponent sees as weaknesses.

One of the topics discussed was Duggan's rumored involvement in talks that brought Orr to the city.

Moderator Carol Caine asks: "Are there anything in these emails that would connect you to the emergency manager, whether you were being considered for it or you being a proponent for it in any way?"

"Absolutely not," he responded. "I told them flat out - 'No,' that I did not think the government had any right to pick the leader of the city of Detroit, that I thought it would be a terrible mistake if he did it."

Another touchy topic discussed was Sheriff Napoleon's involvement in the Wayne County jail project.

Caine asks: "What was your role in the Wayne County jail, and we know there were tremendous cost overruns, other problems, with it. So can you just tell us once and for all what your role was with this, and the responsibility you have with that."

Napoleon responded: "Zero; zip; nada. The only thing I agreed to do was operate the jail when the county executive, who is responsible for building the jail, built it."

The candidates didn't challenge each other - even when they were given the perfect chance - and followed the no-debate rule.

While the Detroit Economic Club event was heavy on conversation neither candidate was forced to push the envelope.

"I really believe we have to make the transition from a forum culture to a debate culture because we're not pursuing or maturing or advancing ideas, because the ideas aren't contested," says Vince Keenan of the website publius.org.

"If you are running for any political office, I think, you need to show why you're different from your opponent," says Bankole Thompson of the Michigan Chronicle.

That's something many hope to hear at next Tuesday's debate, the last chance before the election.

"It was actually refreshing to be staying positive," Duggan shares.

"The information is out there. Do your homework. Figure out what people really are, then vote your conscience," Sheriff Napoleon says.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Duggan bringing big changes to Detroit water department, starting with shutoffs

    Duggan bringing big changes to Detroit water department, starting with shutoffs

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:56:25 GMT
    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is promising big changes at the water department, starting with the controversial shutoffs."Certainly it has hurt the reputation of the city," Duggan said. "I have been anxious to do something about it for awhile and I am just glad I have a chance to do it,"Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr handed over the water department to the mayor and City Council TuesdayDuggan says better publicizing assitance programs is the biggest priority."I still don't think the people in need h...
    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is promising big changes at the water department, starting with the controversial shutoffs."Certainly it has hurt the reputation of the city," Duggan said. "I have been anxious to do something about it for awhile and I am just glad I have a chance to do it,"Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr handed over the water department to the mayor and City Council TuesdayDuggan says better publicizing assitance programs is the biggest priority."I still don't think the people in need h...
  • Royal Oak fire crew forced to watch house burn waiting for DTE

    Royal Oak fire crew forced to watch house burn waiting for DTE

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:47 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:47:18 GMT
    Roberta Erxleben has lived in her house for 30 years and says her garage would not have been destroyed Sunday had DTE responded to another electric fire sooner.
    Roberta Erxleben has lived in her house for 30 years and says her garage would not have been destroyed Sunday had DTE responded to another electric fire sooner.
  • Michigan girl mauled by racoon receives wave of support

    Michigan girl mauled by racoon receives wave of support

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:28 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:28:50 GMT
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices