On Tuesday October 25, the second and final Michigan Gubernatorial Debate took place on our campus at Oakland University. During this debate, both Michigan governor candidates met for the second and final time to persuade the people of the Great Lake State that one of them will pave the way for the future of Michigan.
The debate began with an opening statement from each candidate which gave them the opportunity to introduce themselves to viewers. First to deliver an opening statement was Governor Gretchen Whitmer
“I’m a lifelong Michigander. So far since I have been the governor, I have made the biggest investment in education in the history of the state, I have secured the auto industry, and am working to allow women to make their own decisions”, Governor Whitmer said.
Once she concluded, Whitmer’s GOP opponent. Tudor Dixon recited her opening statement, and included not just facts about herself, but also about some of her visions for the state.
“I am a mother of four girls. I want to create more jobs for the people of Michigan and get education back to where it was prior to the pandemic”, said Dixon.
The first topic of conversation that was up for debate was Proposal 3. The main argument about this proposal protects women and allows them to make decisions about their bodies and their health:
“I accept the will of the people. Mrs. Dixon will not accept Proposal 3. I want women to have a right and a say about what happens to their bodies", Whitmer said.
It was then Dixon’s turn to respond to the question about this controversial proposal.
“I will accept Proposal 3 if it passes”, says Dixon.
Inflation is another topic that has been trending in the political world that was addressed during the debate. The candidates took turns sharing their views on this, and what they can do/did about helping each the people of the state.
“Governor Whitmer is responsible for vetoing a child tax credit, and she is responsible for the gas tax. She also wants to raise the gas taxes”, Mrs. Dixon said to start off this debate topic.
Governor Whitmer followed by explaining what she has done, and she hopes to accomplish during a possible second term.
“I was able to help 150,000 people receive money and free childcare, and I am currently working on ending the retirement tax and the gas tax”, Whitmer said.
Following inflation, the two candidates spoke about their views on energy and the state of Michigan. A main conversation topic during this section of the debate was about line 5.
“There hasn’t been a change in line 5. Michigan now has the #1 clean energy jobs in the country. Mrs. Dixon wants to do things that were done in the past. I want to move forward”, Whitmer explained.
“Governor Whitmer wants to shut down line 5”, Dixon responded.
A major topic of conversation during the debate was education. Both candidates have completely different views on how they vision classroom will look like in the future.
“Fourth and Eighth Grade test scores are down. I want to create a 25-hour tutoring plan to catch students up with what they missed during COVID. Governor Whitmer is being dishonest about schools getting back on track. I support having guns in schools and am against secure storage. We should be going back to reading, writing and math in schools. Not sex and gender. The democrats don’t support the people", Dixon explained.
When it was time for Governor Whitmer to talk, she spoke about what she has accomplished thus far during her time as Governor and what she plans to do if she wins a second term.
“I worked with both political parties during COVID. The reason why kids weren’t in the classroom is because I want to save their lives. I have made a historic investment in education. Dixon and Betsy DeVos want to take millions of dollars out of education. I support secure storage and background checks. Plus, parents have the right to fully understand the curriculum in their children’s school. All students should feel accepted, feel comfortable and have robust curriculum. Mrs. Dixon is distracting schools along with DeVos”, Governor Whitmer shot back.
The roads have always been a topic up for discussion. Especially since Governor Whitmer said in her first time running she wants to ‘Fix the Damn Roads.”
“So far, we have rebuilt 900 new bridges and have fixed 13,000 miles of roads in the state of Michigan. We have taken all the roads down to gravel and rebuilt them”, Governor Whitmer said.
Dixon disagreed with what was said by Whitmer and began to explain her goals for what she would to fix the roads.
“Governor Whitmer has vetoed funds for the roads and has cared more about the gas tax. The roads are a disaster, and the people of Michigan are paying $5,000 in taxes to fix the roads”, Mrs. Dixon explained.
Following the discussion on education, the two candidates discussed internet infrastructure, and how the vision the future of it will be either if one gets re-elected or elected:
“I have gotten endorsements from Northern Michigan and already since I have taken office, we have made progress with the internet infrastructure”, Governor Whitmer explained.
Dixon then followed with her statement explaining what she believes internet infrastructure should be used for.
“Farmers don’t have access to broad ban. Chinese corporations are coming to Michigan and taxpayer dollars aren’t safe with Governor Whitmer”, Dixon says.
In the state of Michigan, it is important for drivers to stay safe on the road. All Michigan residents must have insurance to driver a vehicle, but when it comes to no fault insurance both Whitmer and Dixons views differ.
“I have worked with Republicans to give consumers what kind of insurance they want. Rates have come down, and we are trying to reach out to the legislature so everything will be paid on time”, Governor Whitmer says.
This statement was followed by remarks of Whitmer’s opponent who had her own views of what our she has been up to when it comes to no fault insurance.
“Governor Whitmer gave out checks to soon”, Dixon shared.
Being a working parent isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to running for a position for governor. Both candidates are currently experiencing this as they have children of their own.
“Being a mom and running for office is extremely difficult", Governor Whitmer says about being on the campaign trail while raising two college students.
“I have four girls. I fight for women and will always fight for women”, Mrs. Dixon says.
Opioids and NARCAN were discussed during this debate, and both candidates spoke about how this and the affect it has on the people of Michigan:
“I have expanded health care and Medicare while I worked with Governor Rick Snyder, prior to taking office. I have also delivered a billion dollars in more law enforcement”, Says Whitmer
“I want to put more money toward police and put more of them on the streets to prevent opioid usage from happening”, Mrs. Dixon says.
Prior to the closing statement, the final topic of discussion was the COVID-19 pandemic. Both candidates spoke on the affect it has had on the people of Michigan as well as the COVID-19 vaccine and on when kids should be receiving it.
“I had to make quick decisions and studies have shown that I have saved thousands of lives. Mrs. Dixon was against my rules, and my goals were to protect people", Governor Whitmer says.
“Parents should decide when the vaccine should be given. It shouldn’t be mandatory", Mrs. Dixon followed.
Finally, each candidate had to give a closing statement to convince those watching that they are the correct person to be the governor of the great lake state:
“I want to continue to secure the retirement tax and look out for the safety of the Michigan people.” Governor Whitmer says.
“Governor Whitmer is dishonest and has ruined our state.” Mrs. Dixon says.
There will be no more debates between these two candidates prior to election day. Now, it’s time for the people to make their decision as to who they think will be best to run our state for the next four.