95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Republican gubernatorial candidates meet for town hall style debate

In the first of six Republican gubernatorial town halls, three candidates running for the office of Governor held a debate Monday night in Grand Rapids. Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck, and Dr. Jim Hines hosted a town hall style debate Monday evening at Kent GOP headquarters. The candidates focused largely on infrastructure, education, taxes, talent and health care. 

Senator Colbeck said he likes being known as a tax cutter, and rejected the notion that increasing taxes is the best way to pay for Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges. Meanwhile Lt. Gov. Calley addressed higher education and promoted students entering the workforce out of high school with a specialized certificate, meanwhile receiving on the job training and letting their employers pay for college.

Republican candidate and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette elected to not take part in the town hall, a move Calley criticized. WGVU reached out to Schuette’s campaign for a response, and was told through an email:

"Michigan voters want their next governor to focus on a paycheck agenda of lower taxes and higher wages, and we will bring that message to debates when the events are not hatched in a secret by a few candidates as these events were by Mr. Calley and Mr. Colbeck.”

The town hall is the first out of six the three candidates are planning.