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WJBK Reporter Denies Reports He Encouraged Detroit Mayoral Candidate to Enter Race

WJBK reporter Charlie LeDuff is hitting back at a report from a rival station claiming he encouraged a Detroit mayoral candidate to enter the race.

Mike Dugeon told ABC affiliate WXYZ he entered the primary race as a write-in candidate after a visit from LeDuff. Dugeon’s entry could potentially affect the outcome of the primary because his name is similar to another write-in candidate, Mike Duggan.

“He was like, ‘It seems like you’re thinking about it, man,’” Dugeon told WXYZ. “He was like, ‘I don’t want to pressure you because then you can say I pressured you. So I’m just going to sit here for a minute and let you decide.’ And then I thought about it, and a smirk popped up on my face, and I said, ‘Why not? Let’s go on down there.’”

In his report, WXYZ investigative reporter Ross Jones said LeDuff and his cameraman accompanied Dugeon to file the paperwork for his candidacy. Jones included LeDuff’s denial that he encouraged Dugeon to enter the race in the WXYZ report.

In a subsequent appearance on the Fox O&O, LeDuff told his side of the story, saying he got a tip that Dugeon was planning to enter the race and visited his house to follow up on it.

“I get a call from a camp, a political camp, saying this guy is going to put his name in. So as a reporter I go over there and knock on the door, I ask him. He says ‘No, what are you talking about?’ I explain what Dugeon and Duggan on the ballot means. He thinks about it, he likes the idea, he does it, I follow. End of story.”

“The story speaks for itself,” Jones told TVSpy in an email. “The allegations are being made by the man featured in Charlie’s story, not me or WXYZ.”

Watch both the WXYZ report, and LeDuff’s response, after the jump.

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