Duggan will debate Young in advance of Nov. election

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — Mayor Mike Duggan said he intends to participate in a debate with his mayoral challenger, state Sen. Coleman Young II, in advance of the November election.

“The teams have to sit down and work out the details, but I’m sure there’s going to be a debate,” said Duggan during an event Thursday in southwest Detroit. “That’s never been a question in my mind. It’s part of the process.”

Duggan, who is seeking a second, four-year term, added: “I debated the last time. I’ll debate this time.”

Confirmation from Duggan that he will take part in a debate comes after Young and his campaign called multiple times this week for the mayor to come together with Young to publicly discuss their plans for Detroit.

Duggan received 69 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary to 27 percent for Young, son of Coleman A. Young, the city’s first black mayor, according to unofficial results.

Duggan also secured the vast majority of the prominent endorsements and raised more than $1.6 million compared with Young’s $22,000.

Young’s campaign manager, Adolph Mongo, said Thursday that he’d like the first of what could be several debates to take place in early September.

“We are calling for at least two debates — at minimum,” he said.

Young, who has criticized Duggan for neglecting neighborhoods and a federal criminal investigation into the city’s demolition program, reiterated the call for a debate in an interview with The News on Wednesday.

“We need to have a debate — that way we can really see whose ideas are best for the city,” Young said during the Wednesday interview. “I’ll debate him in a closet, in the middle of Woodward, wherever he may want to do it.”

Duggan said his campaign will stay focused on building a unified city and that he won’t be engaging in mudslinging with Young.

“They got the old play book of hate and divisiveness as a message,” the mayor said during a Wednesday morning interview. “It didn’t work very well for them in the primary. I doubt it will work any better in the general, but we’re not going to engage in it.”