Democrats Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar, and Gretchen Whitmer are vying for Democrats’ votes in a televised debate for Michigan’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Candidates are battling for the chance to be the Democrat on the ballot for Michigan governor. While Michigan went for Donald Trump in 2016 by just over 10,000 votes, the state voted for Democrats in every presidential election since 1992, making Michigan one of the purple states voters will be watching closely in the 2018 elections.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Grit Post correspondent Katelyn Kivel (@KatelynKivel) is livetweeting the debate. Continue refreshing this article for live updates.)

8:02 PM CT: Keep an eye on and for a full wrap-up and a collection of these tweets. I’m sure and will have the debate saved and watchable.

7:59 PM CT: Quick impressions. seemed kinda in his own little world the whole time. had a lot of “I’m the candidate already” entitlement. was a bit more aggressive than I personally like, but was probably winner, narrowly.

7:58 PM CT: And the last word is kinda vaguely swinging against the presumptive Republican nominee.

7:57 PM CT: Taking his closing statements to again blast his opponents, called a closet Republican and said was in the pocket of moneyed interests.

7:55 PM CT: “We invented the middle class,” says . She did say that it didn’t matter what your race or gender were back in the day which a lot of women of color would object to.

7:55 PM CT: What did do right? Everyone: Taking the medicaid expansion.

7:54 PM CT: The sports gambling question, should we do it? and : Yes : Yes, but let’s be mindful of gambling addiction.

7:53 PM CT: The “Magic Wand” question, what would make the world better. : Poverty. : Jobs, which is like poverty but without consideration to poor paying jobs. Mental illness.

7:52 PM CT: The AG who opposed the voter-supported medical pot laws is presumptive Republican candidate. All Dems support recreational pot and clearing records of people with pot convictions.

7:51 PM CT: The AG who opposed the voter-supported medical pot laws is presumptive Republican candidate. All Dems support recreational pot and clearing records of people with pot convictions.

7:50 PM CT: Pot got talking about his perspective as a chemist. Argues for regulations like alcohol. as a health director has already gotten experiences regulating legal marijuana. He also wants to use MI to study how to “use it well”.

7:48 PM CT: “I believe you have all already found ways to spend that marijuana money.” knows for sure how candidates think. Dolla dolla bills.

7:47 PM CT: “Policing with communities and not on top of communities.” Someone really has trained about sound bites.

7:46 PM CT: Assuming Michigan’s legalization passes, would commute sentences of those currently incarcerated for pot crimes.

7:45 PM CT: Man, turned a great point into a punch against . She punched back, though when she talks about how she played by the rules it invites scrutiny she’s not going to like on her PAC money.

7:44 PM CT: Man, turned a great point into a punch against . She punched back, though when she talks about how she played by the rules it invites scrutiny she’s not going to like on her PAC money.

7:42 PM CT: So had the background of rebuilding a municipal government after an EM and fought the law in the legislature. drew the connection between EMs and poor communities.

7:40 PM CT: So, background here: EMs, or emergency managers, are the things that Rick did to take away authority of elected officials in poor, often black communities and replace them with officials that report to him in order to enforce austerity measures.

7:39 PM CT: Note to self: ask for elaboration on ‘s statement that ‘auto insurers are health insurers too’. I get it, I just want him to explain it so I don’t need to have ten more links in my article later.

7:38 PM CT: To deal with auto insurance, talked about transparency in the board that oversees auto insurers. He also thinks that it’s an unreasonable roadblock to getting jobs.

7:36 PM CT: You want radical? took the constant “What about the roads” question to talk about infrastructure at large and political gridlock and corruption at large. This one’s easy, man. Michiganders just complain and move on.

7:35 PM CT: It’s an aside, I grant you, but “Fix the damn roads” is literally the thing my youngest sister says every time someone mentions . And said ‘darn’ instead of ‘damn’. Which is almost adorable in the era.

7:34 PM CT: Dear readers from other states: “Why are our roads this bad” really is the main question we ask in every single gubernatorial election that’s ever happened in my life. You really can’t imagine how constant the infrastructure decay conversation is here.

7:33 PM CT: “If Michigan wants something different, Michigan must elect someone different.” gives a reminder that whoever the Dem candidate will be, they’re a minority. No Democrat candidate is a straight, white man.

7:32 PM CT: And the next punch comes from who swung hard at the other Dems, calling them out for a lack of civility.

7:31 PM CT: On civility in the public discourse, talked about how people ask “How is being a Muslim/Egyptian American going for you?” And we’d apparently be surprised. The guy’s an optimist, apparently.

7:29 PM CT: “He’s said that people, because [of] how they pray, don’t belong in this country.” – Important in the state that has Dearborn. It’s easy to forget a lot of our fellow Michiganders are vilified by so many.

7:28 PM CT: “I will work with this President as long as this President is fair to the state of Michigan.” – It’d be interesting to see two billionaires working together… I’m not sure would want to be at that table with you though. Twitter’s easier.

7:27 PM CT: I like that every candidate supports better treatment of teachers. Teachers nationwide are overworked and underpaid and regularly attacked by politicians.

7:26 PM CT: “De-DeVos-ing” is my new favorite thing for the next ten seconds, .

7:24 PM CT: I’m not sure why childcare is part of the education discussion,, but the personal connection about education being your ladder out of poverty is touching.

7:23 PM CT: You know, I’ll source this or correct it later because I’m going off my memory, but when they talk about Michigan schools slipping, I remember that Michigan-trained teachers were considered some of the best teachers in the country.

7:22 PM CT: Personal stories are dominating the post-Roe discussion, from talking about abortion from the angle of a doctor’s responsibilities, and from the prospective of a rape survivor. And, uh, well, is there too.

7:19 PM CT: Man, gubernatorial candidates being asked about state abortion laws. This is the world.

7:18 PM CT: So, swings the first punch at over healthcare. Whitmer responded with a story about her time in the State Senate and her ailing mother. She, though, is the only one not openly supporting single payer.

7:17 PM CT: Interestingly, supported Medicare for All at the state level. Which is , the proposal of .

7:15 PM CT: We have two industries, says : agriculture and automotive. And he thinks it’s important to focus on labor unions.

7:13 PM CT: Coming both at and , thinks free trade is hurting Michiganders but also that trade policy shouldn’t be set by tweet.

7:10 PM CT: And is saying that the money you pay to hire a tutor or fix your car, you are paying an education or infer structure tax.

7:10 PM CT: Oh, and had a great line: America is “not a government by the corporations for the corporations.” Went on to say that people feel overtaxed because they don’t get anything out of their tax investments.

7:09 PM CT: On corporate money: says he created jobs, and it wasn’t from corporate tax cuts. wants the MI Economic Development Corporation to focus on small business. says good business climate comes from “good people climate”.

7:05 PM CT: Apparently ‘s narrative is that everyone’s focused on attacking her. It’s an argument that sets her up as the presumptive candidate.


Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.

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