Both of the two Democrats who want to be the next Michigan governor say they won the second and final debate between them.
Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero jousted verbally in a one-hour debate Monday evening in Wixom.
“Dillon showed once again that his plan to fix our economy is head and shoulders above his opponent’s,” said a release from the Dillon camp. “Meanwhile, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero continued to avoid answering questions with any specific plans, instead choosing to answer with attacks and empty rhetoric.”
Bernero’s campaign countered that the debate offered a platform to discuss Bernero’s plan to put Michigan “back on track by bringing bold leadership and innovative solutions to the state Capitol, instead of the failed partisan insider politics of recent years.
“Bernero made a point to hone in on key differences separating him from his opponent, including Dillon’s track record as Speaker and Michigan’s economic downturn under the Speaker’s watch, Dillon’s anti-choice stance, and Dillon’s record of outsourcing jobs,” a statement from his campaign read.
Democrats and Republicans will pick their nominees for governor in the Aug. 3 primary.
Both Dillon, 48, and Bernero, 46, want to succeed Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who cannot run again because of term limits.
Recent polls give Dillon the edge over Bernero so far, but the polls indicate the majority of Democrats are still undecided between them.
The debate between on the two on Detroit Public Television can be viewed online at www.mivote.org and at www.thecenterformichigan.net.
Five Republicans are also seeking their party’s nomination in the Aug. 3 primary.
They are Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and state Sen. Tom George.
Bouchard, Hoekstra, Cox and George will participate in the final debate sponsored by the Michigan Republican Party at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 13, at Meadow Brook Theatre on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester Hills.
— By Charles Crumm of The Oakland Press. Contact him at 248-745-4649, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @crummc.