GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – The second debate between incumbent Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her Republican challenger Tudor Dixon has been scheduled to take place on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester on Tuesday, October 25th at 7 pm.
According to WXYZ Channel 7 Detroit, they will be hosting the one-hour commercial-free event along with other Scripps’ television stations WXMI FOX 17 Grand Rapids and WSYM FOX 47 Lansing as well as Oakland University’s Center for Civic Engagement. The October 25th debate will be shared with media partners throughout the state of Michigan. Moderating the debate will be WXYZ’s Chuck Stokes, WXMI’s Doug Reardon and WSYM’s Elle Meyers.
Sara Broadwater, Tudor Dixon’s Communications Director said about the debates, “Tudor Dixon will remind people of all Gretchen Whitmer’s failures as Governor and Tudor will make clear to the voters how their lives will improve under a Dixon administration. Dixon will contrast her common-sense agenda for Michigan against Gretchen Whitmer’s laundry list of failures on the economy, schools, and crime.”
Whitmer’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
David Dulio, Director for the University’s Center for Civic Engagement told Michigan News Source that the school is “delighted to partner with Scripps’ television stations in this important statewide civic initiative.”
He said about the event, “Generally speaking, debates are the only time during the campaign where candidates are face to face and engaging on the same issue at the same time. Candidates have to confront their opponent in a setting that might be a bit uncomfortable because the moderator might bring up an issue or an issue position that the candidate doesn’t want to address. Similarly, the opponent might challenge the candidate on a particular issue or position. opportunity to hear directly from the candidates and be challenged — by the moderator or their opponent — about their views, record, and vision for the future.”
He continued, “Debates are one of the only opportunities to hear from the candidates in an unfiltered forum. Without debates, candidates will wage the campaign solely through paid media — mainly TV ads — where candidates will only highlight information that is beneficial to their campaign; they also don’t have to address any legitimate criticism they should face.”
Dulio said that Oakland University’s Center for Civic Engagement “serves the community as a ‘convener of conversations’ about issues of public importance. During an election campaign, there are no more important conversations than those between candidates who want to serve as the people’s representatives.”
The first debate, which is also commercial-free and shared across the state, will be held on Thursday, October 13th at 7 pm by WOOD-TV8 in Grand Rapids. It will last an hour and political reporter Rick Albin will moderate. WOOD-TV8 is asking viewers to submit their questions for their debate at this link. Viewers should be sure to give the station their phone number to be called if their question is chosen and also be able to do a Zoom call that would be pre-recorded before the debate.
Albin says of the viewer questions, “The event on October 13th comes at the peak of the election cycle. We’ll be the first of very few joint appearances of the two major party candidates. A hallmark of our tradition of hosting those very important debates is that we ask you, our viewers, what you want to hear the candidates talk about – the issues that are important to you, what direction will the candidate take the state, what’s in store for the future of Michigan… we hope to have questions from many parts of Michigan.”
Ahead of the debate, Whitmer has been spending her time focusing on abortion and “fighting like hell” for reproductive freedom. Dixon and her running mate Shane Hernandez are currently on a lockdown tour where they are having freedom rallies and town hall events at Michigan businesses that were shut down during what Dixon calls “Whitmer’s extreme COVID lockdowns.”
The general election is on Nov. 8th and absentee ballots started going out on September 29th. To date, more than 1.5 million voters in Michigan have requested them. If a voter changes their mind on who they want to vote for after turning in an absentee ballot, they can do so by “spoiling” their ballot and requesting a new one before Election Day. They can submit a written, signed and dated request to their local clerk that must be received by 5 pm on November 4th if the request is sent through the mail – or they can submit the request in person by 10 a.m. on November 7th and get a new absentee ballot at the office. However, if a voter shows up to vote in person to vote without spoiling the ballot first, they will not be issued a new ballot.