DETROIT -

Most but not all of the Detroit mayoral candidates participated in the United Way's forum Wednesday night.

The notable exceptions were Benny Napoleon and the ever-litigious Tom Barrow. Barrow is still trying to squash fellow candidate Mike Duggan's write-in bid, which is not likely to happen. Duggan's campaign is back in full swing.

Related: Election Director: Duggan can run as write-in candidate

If there is a forum, or even a backyard BBQ, there is no doubt Duggan will be there. Mounting write-in campaign is a tough row to hoe.

"I took an involuntary break from this campaign for a little while but I'm really pleased to be back," Duggan said.

The only other candidate at the forum who even resonates in the polls is Lisa Howze.

"It truly is about making sure that we keep young people, especially those who've had an opportunity to go off to college, here in the city of Detroit. What I want to create is a culture of entrepreneurship within the city," Howze said.

The questions Wednesday night were light on Detroit's DEFCON 4 financial problems and heavy on youth-oriented issues.

While a lot of it was nothing but a whole bunch of talk, there is a the bigger issue floating in the ether: Detroit's emergency manager has made it clear he believes the city's future path will be known by August 19, the next time Detroit's financial advisory board meets. If the city goes into Chapter 9, will any of these mayoral candidates be relevant in way, shape or form?