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4 mayoral candidates to square off in debate at Mackinac Conference

From Crain’s Detroit Business

By Kirk Pinho

May 15, 2013

Four Detroit mayoral candidates will square off in a debate May 30 at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Moderated by Nolan Finley, editorial page editor for the Detroit News and Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor for the Detroit Free Press, the debate will feature Mike Duggan, the former Detroit Medical Center CEO; Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon; state Rep. Fred Durhal Jr.; and former state Rep. Lisa Howze.

It is scheduled for 5 p.m. on the second day of the Detroit Regional Chamber‘s May 29-31 annual conference on Mackinac Island.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced Tuesday that he will not seek a second full term as mayor, but said he may form an exploratory committee to consider other political options, including a bid to become Wayne County executive in 2014.

Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the chamber, said its political action committee’s board of directors will make the ultimate decision about whom the chamber endorses.

It’s not known whether that endorsement will come before the Aug. 5 mayoral primary election, or the Nov. 6 general election, but it will come at a time when the board believes “it provides the most amount of impact on the race,” Williams said.

“We’re listening to everything the candidates are saying, whether it’s at the Mackinac conference or in other venues,” Williams said. “This is clearly the most important time in our city’s history, and the chamber intends to play a key role in this year’s election and make sure that our members and the community at large have a clear idea of where we sit on the issues.”

Registration at the Mackinac Policy Conference is required to attend the debate and reception.

The PAC will also endorse in this year’s Detroit City Council elections “when there is a clear and preferred candidate,” Williams said.

Kirk Pinho: (313) 446-0412, kpinho@crain.com. Twitter: @kirkpinhoCDB