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Three Dems running for governor debate in Grand Rapids last night

Michigan Democratic candidates at the podium
Mike Buck
Shri Thanedar, Gretchen Whitmer, and Abdul El-Sayed during the Michigan Democratic Party Debate in Grand Rapids

Immigration and infrastructure were a couple of the big themes as Michigan’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates debated one another in Grand Rapids last night.

Gretchen Whitmer, Shri Thanedar and Abdul El Sayed share the stage.

Thanedar, the only candidate born outside the U.S, says there is a lot of discrimination against immigrants in Michigan.

“I see that discrimination because I’m an immigrant and I see the discrimination because of the color of my skin. And thousands of Michiganders experience that,” Thanedar said.

Whitmer, a former state lawmaker, focused on her years of experience in Lansing and said she's the only candidate with the experience necessary to run the state. But she says she looks forward to more debates.

“We always have a good debate, and it’s always very respectful and I’m proud of that. I’m proud to be a democrat and I’m proud to share the stage with these guys,” Whitmer said.

El Sayed stressed the importance of making Michigan’s government more transparent with its citizens.

“There is only one candidate who has actually put forward full financial disclosures. Only one. I’m not taking a single dime from corporations to run this campaign,” El Sayed said.

All three candidates spoke about banning assault rifles, keeping families together at the border, and investing more money into the state’s infrastructure.

Election Day for the primaries is August 7.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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