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GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Hold First Debate

Eight of the 10 candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination met for a debate in Oakland County last night.

Frontrunner James Craig was not among them. He withdrew, citing a previous commitment. Donna Brandenburg was the other missing candidate. 

The event remained relatively low key, with most of the criticism directed at Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

All of the candidates supported the potential overturn of the Roe v Wade abortion decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. There was a split, however, on how to proceed if abortion were to be criminalized again in Michigan. Tudor Dixon, Perry Johnson, Ryan Kelley, Ralph Rebandt and Garrett Soldano opposed exceptions for rape and incest. Michael Brown, Michael Markey and Kevin Rinke supported exceptions. 

Two of the candidates – Brown and Markey – admitted that former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election in Michigan. Dixon, Kelly, Rebant and Soldano continue to allege that Trump won the state, although numerous investigations and court cases have produced no evidence to support the claim. Rinke and Johnson declined to answer the question.

The former president has not endorsed a candidate in the race.

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