Race for Republican Nomination for Governor Intensifies With Heated Debate

“We have a choice in this election. Do we continue this comeback? Or do we turn back to the career politicians and failed policies of the past,” Lt. Governor Brian Calley asked.

The four candidates running for the republican nomination for Michigan governor were on the same stage making their case to republican voters.

It was the first GOP debate, giving two of the candidates a chance to introduce themselves, and two others a chance to fight for the lead in the hotly contested race.

Their own introductions said a lot about how these four men are positioning themselves.

Dr. Jim Hines said he’s an outsider, not a career politician. State senator Patrick Colbeck, the conservative with principled solutions. Lt. Governor Brian Calley running on the state’s economic comeback. And Attorney General Bill Schuette touting the Trump endorsement.

On the issues, none of the candidates supported recreational marijuana.

Things got heated between frontrunners Schuette and Calley over the handling of the Flint water crisis.

After the Republican debate in Grand Rapids ended Wednesday night, and we got a chance to catch up with the candidates, it was clear the race for the Republican nomination for governor has kicked into high gear.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley spent part of the debate attacking Attorney General Bill Schuette’s record. He stayed on the offensive after the debate.

“If I had as few accomplishments as the Attorney General I’d probably fall back on endorsements too. Bill Schuette will say or do anything to get elected, literally anything. Politicizes tragedy, he uses the criminal justice system like it’s a launching pad for a gubernatorial campaign,” Calley said.

Schuette hit back.

“I make no apologies for standing up for families of Flint. And this isn’t about me or anybody else. And those that want to sweep it away and want to inject politics because they’re desperately behind, that’s the height of arrogance and that has citizens of Flint as pawns on a mere chess board it’s outrageous,” Schuette said.

Senator Patrick Colbeck said during the debate he would prioritize environmental issues in the state. We wanted to know where Line 5 would fall on his list.

“Making sure we protect our Great Lakes is right up there at the top so when it comes down to some of these solutions, you gotta look at what the impact of the policy is and if you want to get natural gas and oil from point a to point b, pipelines are the most reliable method,” Colbeck said.

As for Dr. Jim Hines, he hopes to emerge as the alternative Republican candidate.

“I wanted them to know that I’m the outsider, that I’m not a politician. I haven’t been in office for eight, 12 or 36 years, that I have different ideas, fresh ideas, that I haven’t taken special interest money, that I’m going to make decision for what’s best for the people,” Hines said.

And this race is far from over, this debate over the nomination continues until August 7.

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