A week left until the primary election, and 9&10 News is sitting down with each of the leading gubernatorial candidates this week.
The polls show single digits separate the leader of the race and fourth place, with nearly a third of voters still undecided. It’s a sprint to the finish in the final week.
This week 9&10 News is going to sit down with each of them giving them the chance to tell us why they should earn that undecided vote. First up, the current leader, Tudor Dixon.
“I think I’m a unique candidate in this field,” said Dixon.
The conservative talk show host from Muskegon didn’t start out strong, but as the campaign went on Dixon began scooping up big time endorsements. This meant big time donations and the ability to compete.
“Being able to go up and advertise and talk about bringing back education, making sure cities are safe and making sure that Michigan treats businesses well, that’s been resonating with folks,” said Dixon.
It also put a target on her back. In a field of political outsiders, she is tagged as the “establishment” candidate.
“That’s an attempt to attack and I don’t think that we’re at the point where attacks are working,” said Dixon, “It seems like that attack has not been effective. People don’t necessarily want that.”
Dixon responded, saying the endorsements show her ability to work with others and show hypocrisy from the candidates.
“Ultimately, if anybody who is elected is “establishment,” we’re all applying for that job,” said Dixon.
Dixon realizes that not only will Republicans want to vote for the candidate they most align with, but they also need someone who can win in November.
“We need to unite the entire party but also we need to bring some of those Independents over, all the Independents, and some of those Democrats,” said Dixon, “So do we have a message that is able to be wide ranging enough.”
That means beating Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Dixon primary win would set up the first gubernatorial all-female race in Michigan history.
“In the past, in election cycles, we’ve seen her use her gender as a weapon against her opponent, ‘Oh you’re insulting me, you’re putting me down,’” said Dixon, “I think that takes that away from her so it’s really going to be a matter of a battle of merit.”
Dixon can’t beat Whitmer if she doesn’t win next Tuesday and that result is nothing but a sure thing.
“Everybody likes when sports games come down to the last minute so I guess for me, I think I have to keep going out there, make sure we finish strong,” said Dixon, “Talking to people and see if that message pushes us over and that’s what people really want in Michigan.”