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Detroit mayoral debate to be held at Mackinac Policy Conference; Local forums on council elections scheduled


By Khalil AlHajal

May 15, 2013

DETROIT, MI — Some of the front-running candidates in the Detroit mayoral election will debate the issues at the Mackinac Policy Conference on May 30, the Detroit Regional Chamber announced Wednesday.

Former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, former state Rep. Lisa Howze and state Rep. Fred Durhal Jr. are scheduled to take part in the forum.

Nolan Finley of the Detroit News and Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press will moderate the discussion, 5 p.m., May 30 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

The next mayor will likely remain under the shadow of state-appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr until at least September 2014. And the emergency manager’s exit would likely be followed by continued oversight by a financial advisory board, unless federal lawsuits against the state’s financial emergency law are successful.

But that didn’t stop 19 people from seeking a spot on the ballot by Tuesday’s petition filing deadline.

State Rep. John Olumba, former top city attorney Krystal Crittendon and past mayoral candidates Tom Barrow and D’Artagnan Collier were among them.

Mayor Dave Bing on Tuesday announced that he does not plan to seek re-election.

In the Detroit city council election, which will be divided into districts for the first time in nearly a century, 56 hopefuls filed petitions, including four incumbents.

A group of Detroit political action groups is hosting a series of local council election forums in the coming weeks. (Details here.)

Mackinac conference organizers this week also announced details of another forum on Detroit.

CEO of Rock Ventures Matt Cullen, state Treasurer Andy Dillon and Penske Corp. President Robert Kurnick Jr. will take part in a forum on Detroit’s redevelopment at 8:30 a.m. May 30.

Follow Khalil AlHajal on Twitter @DetroitKhalil or on Facebook at Detroit Khalil. He can be reached at or 313-643-0527.