In October, Michigan will see two televised gubernatorial debates. The first will be hosted in Grand Rapids, and take place on October 12, 2018 at 7 p.m. The second will be hosted in Detroit, and take place on October 24, 2018 at 8 p.m.
As the victors of their respective parties in the August primaries, Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer will meet to debate critical issues, such as infrastructure, immigration, environmental concerns in the Great Lakes, and where the candidates stand on the controversial topic of recreational marijuana use and legalization.
For the voters looking to get a better understanding of each candidate's positions, both Schuette and Whitmer participated in primary debates that were broadcast leading up to the primaries. These debates are still accessible to the public on YouTube.
On May 9, the Attorney General toted his endorsement from President Trump, using it to land credit with a growing base within Michigan's Republican Party. Schuette swept the Republican primary with apparent ease in August, defeating Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley by a 2 to 1 margin.
At the Democratic gubernatorial debate on June 20, former Senator Gretchen Whitmer presented herself as a well-rehearsed candidate. She stressed the importance of rebuilding Michigan's roads, among other issues.
She went on to defeat Shri Thanedar—an entrepreneur, and Abdul El-Sayed—a former director of the Detroit Health Department, and favorite among the progressive wing of Michigan's Democratic Party.
Schuette and Whitmer shared the stage together briefly at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference, during the gubernatorial debate portion of the Detroit Regional Chamber 2018 PAC Reception.
Both the Attorney General and former Senator acknowledged other candidates within their parties, but used their speaking time to begin the age-old practice of political mud-slinging. It was clear that both were aware of each other's inevitable place as opponent for governor in November.
The Republican nominee accused his adversary across the aisle of planning to raise taxes and increase regulations across the board. In turn, former Senator Whitmer accused Schuette of claiming that children do not have a constitutional right to literacy.
It remains to be seen whether either candidate will be able to appeal to voters across party lines.