Whitmer, Dixon face off in Michigan gubernatorial debate

Elections 2022

Gubernatorial candidates Tudor Dixon and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer met for a debate hosted by WOOD TV8 Thursday, taking every opportunity to sling mud at one another while also attempting to show voters they were the best person to lead Michigan.

The story below is from before the debate. Watch a replay above.

(NewsNation) — With the midterm elections getting closer, the race for governor of Michigan could go either way. As voters get ready to make their decisions, Republican challenger Tudor Dixon and incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will debate each other on television for the first time.

NewsNation affiliate WOOD TV8 will be hosting the debate Thursday at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT and NewsNation will stream it live in this article. WOOD TV8 political reporter Rick Albin will moderate the debate.

Whitmer, who is an attorney and a past state senator, has a 54% approval rating as governor. Her key focuses have been on health care and infrastructure, but this time around on the campaign trail, she’s been hammering the abortion issue as a pro-choice advocate. She recently announced an expansion of access to birth control for the state.

“As reproductive freedom is under attack across the nation, we are using every tool in our toolbox here in Michigan to protect women,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Access to birth control is critical to a woman’s ability to plan her family and chart her own destiny. We are taking action to guarantee that Michigan women have the right to easily make reproductive health care decisions that are best for them.” 

Backed by former President Donald Trump, Dixon has never held public office and is still working to introduce herself and her ideas to voters, some of whom may be seeing her in action for the first time at Thursday’s debate. She is a businesswoman, a cancer survivor, and a mother. She recently spoke with Albin about her focus on schooling in Michigan.

“All of the kids should be at the appropriate reading level and it shouldn’t be too much to ask,” Dixon told News 8. “So our focus is going to be on reading level. That’ll be probably first and foremost where we are zoning in on education.”

You can watch this debate on NewsNation’s digital platform by coming to this web page at 7 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. CT or watching via Twitter, YouTube or Facebook. To find NewsNation on your television, visit the NewsNation Channel Finder.

The midterm elections take place on Nov. 8.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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