The Democratic and Republican candidates for Michigan governor are reportedly set to debate in Grand Rapids in mid-October.
Incumbent Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and GOP candidate Tudor Dixon will go head-to-head in a televised debate hosted by WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids on Thursday, Oct. 13, the outlet announced Thursday. The candidates had not previously agreed on a debate schedule, though both campaigns did agree to debate in general.
Last month, Gov. Whitmer’s campaign announced that it had accepted invitations to two proposed televised debates in October. The campaign said WOOD-TV proposed a televised debate for Oct. 13, while WXYZ, WXMI and WSYM proposed a debate for Oct. 25 -- both of which were accepted.
Candidate Dixon did not appear to agree to these dates, saying publicly that she wanted to debate with Whitmer before absentee voting begins, which is around Sept. 29. Dixon’s campaign instead proposed a number of dates for a debate in September, along with a few in October. The campaign said in August that they accepted WOOD-TV’s “originally proposed date” for a debate on Sept. 20.
The GOP candidate seems now to have accepted the Oct. 13 debate date that Whitmer has also agreed to. WOOD-TV says the one-hour debate will begin at 7 p.m. and will be moderated by reporter Rick Albin.
The face-off between Whitmer and Dixon represents the first time two women will be competing for the role of governor in Michigan history. Dixon is also the first woman to ever win the GOP nomination for Michigan governor. The GOP nominee defeated a small field of Republican gov. candidates in the Aug. primary and surged to a decisive win after securing the last-minute endorsement of former President Donald Trump.
Recent polling shows that Whitmer continues to hold a lead of about 13 points over Dixon ahead of the election.