GOP gubernatorial candidates set to slug it out

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The five major candidates seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination prepared Wednesday for their first in a series of debates sponsored by the Michigan Republican Party.

The hourlong debate was to be held at Michigan State University and televised live on WLNS-TV at 7 p.m.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Attorney General Mike Cox, state Sen. Tom George, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder will participate.

Snyder is the only one so far to air any ads, but all five candidates have been campaigning hard in advance of the Aug. 3 primary election. Most spoke at recent tea party events and are trying to appeal to the GOP base with a message of lower taxes and smaller government.

The debate will give the GOP candidates a chance to emphasize their differences and possibly get in some political jabs. They also might voice criticism of their Democratic counterparts, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, House Speaker Andy Dillon and state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith.

In a recent EPIC-MRA poll, Hoekstra was backed by 27 percent of the 400 likely Republican voters surveyed. Cox was backed by 21 percent, followed by Snyder at 15 percent, Bouchard at 13 percent and George at 3 percent. About 3 percent said they would vote for someone else and 18 percent were undecided.

When likely voters were given brief descriptions of the Republican candidates, Hoekstra had 26 percent, followed by Cox and Snyder at 21 percent each. Bouchard was at 15 percent while George was at 6 percent.

The poll was conducted March 28-31 for the Detroit Free Press and TV stations WXYZ in Southfield, WOOD in Grand Rapids, WILX in Lansing and WJRT in Flint. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s