Duggan, Young square off in heated Detroit mayoral debate

- Two weeks until election day and the two Detroit mayoral candidates went head-to-head in their one and only debate.

Mayor Mike Duggan and State Sen. Coleman A. Young II talked jobs and also got in plenty of jabs Wednesday night. 

Right out of the gate, Coleman Young spoke about Detroit split in two - downtown vs. the neighborhoods. 
  
“It’s the best of times for those who are privileged and the worst of times for everybody else," he said.

It was a strategy to put Mayor Duggan on the defensive and prove that he is not out simply to see downtown Detroit succeed. 

“He wants to talk two Detroits, there is two Sen. Youngs," Duggan said. "He's attacking jobs in downtown Detroit, in July we passed five bills in Lansing for tax breaks for downtown developers that are going to be a great thing. Sen. Young was the co-sponsor of all five bills."

It was clear early on that Young had an aggressive strategy. 

“This isn’t personal attacks this is truth vs. fiction,” Young said once the debate ended.

“It’s been the campaign the whole time - a lot of attacks and no substance on plans," Duggan said afterward.

But Duggan also took some time during the debate to fire back at the state senator. 

"We were keeping people in their homes while you are missing your votes in Lansing," Duggan said. 

The challenger fired back with allegations regarding bid rigging for the Land Bank Authority.

"How is he going to criticize me on how I vote and don't vote," Young said. "We don't even know whether or not he's going to jail after this debate is over."

"You can look at FOX 2 news you can look at 'I did not collude' a Charlie LeDuff interview," Young said after the debate. "He said he negotiated a negotiated price with three contractors in a pre-bid meeting. You cannot do that. That is illegal."

“I was not involved in any land bank bidder meetings period," Duggan responded. "There was no bid riggings. I wasn't in the meetings and I never said I did it."

Fact check: Here is what was actually said to FOX 2 back in Oct. 2015:

Duggan: I don't believe it was collusion. But given the speed with which they were working, I know what they were trying to do."

Charlie: Not only did they bid, they're the only ones who got the contract."

Duggan: "They were the only ones that wanted to do it."

In the end they both left a message for the voters - either finish out what was started with Duggan or vote for change with Coleman A. Young.

"If you want a man who is going to stand up and fight for what's right and what's true, vote Coleman Alexander Young II," he said. "It’s time to take back the motherland.”

"I know the job is not done," Duggan said. "But if you give me one more term, I will do everything I can to build one Detroit for all of us.”

Coleman A. Young wanted to have more debates but the mayor says given the attacks from his opponent, he's satisfied with just this one, he will let the voters decide on Nov. 7.
 

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