Detroit mayoral debate heats up at Tuesday night forum

Detroit mayoral candidates get personal during forum held at east Detroit church

DETROIT – It was an explosive start to a debate with plenty of fireworks.

Inside an eastside Detroit church Tuesday night there was a stage set for six Detroit mayoral candidates, but one was left out.

"I'm one of the candidates running for mayor," said recently fired Detroit Public Schools Superintendent John Telford.

Watch: John Telford kicked out of Detroit mayoral forum

Telford was escorted out by police after his demonstration. He was never asked to be part of the debate and, he says, it isn't the first time.

"I resent this. I am a life-long Detroiter," he said.

Back inside the church was a fiery discussion on the future of Detroit, where things stand now and how to make things better.

"You deserve to have the police come when you call," said candidate Lisa Howze.

"We have education issues with our children," said Wayne County Sheriff and candidate Benny Napoleon.

"It's a deep problem that we have but it can be fixed," said State Rep. and candidate Fred Durhal.

"I'm going to work to make sure the Supreme Court of the United States issues and opinion to get rid of EMs," said candidate Krystal Crittendon.

Then, talk turned personal.

Candidate Tom Barrow, who has questioned candidate Mike Duggan's residency, threw the first punch.

Read more: Barrow files lawsuit in fight to get Duggan off ballot

"(Duggan) doesn't even have a Detroit accent. He has no idea who we're about," said Barrow.

Duggan responded.

"Everything that he said is not true ... excuse me, I didn't interrupt you, Mr. Barrow," Duggan said.

That was followed by outbursts from the crowd. Judging by the debate Tuesday night, the race is beginning to heat up.

"The person that you elect this fall is the person who is really going to determine the direction of this community for decades to come," said Napoleon.

"It should not matter if you're black, brown or white. Detroit will recover," said Duggan.