Less than a month from the August Primary election in Michigan and the race for the governor’s office took a step Wednesday night.
Just the second debate of the cycle endorsed by the Michigan GOP, four of the candidates for the Republican nomination squared off in Grand Rapids.
The rules allowed space for only those candidates on the ballot and those that meet a polling threshold. A valuable invite as the race is sprinting to an end. The field consisted of Garrett Soldano, Tudor Dixon, Kevin Rinke and Ryan Kelley.
The gloves are off. The clock is ticking and the Republican candidates for governor are feeling it as each debate gets more aggressive. Different strategies taken, like businessman Rinke touting his leadership.
“We’re applying for the job of the chief executive officer and I’m the only chief executive officer on the stage,” said Rinke afterward.
To the grassroots candidate, Soldano, taking it to Dixon, the candidate endorsed by many, including the powerful DeVos family, the namesake of the building the debate was held.
“You’re backed by the establishment. You’re backed by the DeVos Empire and I think, as Michiganders, we’re sick and tired of the career politicians,” said Soldano during the debate, “These establishments having these controls over all of us and having somebody’s administration bought and paid for which yours is, Mrs. Dixon.”
“We just had a statewide audience calling out these other candidates who continue to give lip service and are bought and paid for by the establishment,” he added afterward.
“If there’s a thought that other candidates have that you can’t bring the party together if you have certain support, then I don’t see how they could possibly reach across the aisle,” said Dixon.
The candidates were questioned on COVID response, gun control, abortion and the state budget, among other topics during the hour and a half debate. Many answers repeated from previous debates but more accountability pressed between the candidates.
Kelley touted the action in his words. The man arrested by the FBI, scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, for his role in the January 6 riot in Washington DC,. his campaign using it as a credibility statement rather than a black eye.
“I think that we’ve already separated the candidates quite a bit,” said Kelley afterward, “Based on actions and fighting for freedom and liberty and based on actions as a candidate as well.”
The primary is August 2nd.