WUOMFM

Flint mayoral candidates hold last pre-primary debate

Jul 30, 2015

During a debate last night, the four candidates running for Flint mayor largely agreed on what needs to be done.  Just not who should lead the city.

The four candidates on Flint's mayoral primary ballot (from the left-Wantwaz Davis, Eric Mays, Dayne Walling and Karen Weaver) take part in a debate
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Incumbent mayor Dayne Walling, businesswoman Karen Weaver and councilmen Eric Mays and Wantwaz Davis shared the podium and their opinions during their final pre-primary debate.

They shared many of the same positions on issues, from tax breaks for businesses to the need to improve race relations in the city.

But Walling found himself the target of his three challengers.

Councilman Eric Mays attacked Walling’s tenure as Flint mayor, which includes a state takeover. 

“This political leadership has failed us,” says Mays.

Businesswoman Karen Weaver says Flint residents have lost their own voice in city government because of the state takeover. 

“We haven’t had one in quite some time. That has to change,” Weaver said.

And Councilman Wantwaz Davis says “new blood” is needed.

“To be able to address the needs of those that has been neglected for so long,” Davis said, referring to Flint’s poor. 

Walling predicted his challengers' attacks. The mayor, in turn, questioned whether his challengers understand the city’s needs.

“You’ll have to ask yourselves do they even understand the issues that city really faces,” said Walling. 

Primary voters will pick between the four candidates on the ballot and several people waging write-in campaigns next Tuesday.

The top two vote-getters will face off in November.