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Two gov. candidates debate ahead of first-ever Libertarian state primary

Bill Gelineau and John Tatar
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Libertarian candidates Bill Gelineau and John Tatar in Grand Rapids.

Infrastructure spending, legalizing marijuana, and education reform were all big talking points at Michigan’s first Libertarian gubernatorial debate in Grand Rapids last night.

The two candidates, Bill Gelineau and John Tatar, both expressed dissatisfaction with the two-party system. They agree it's done more to hurt Michigan than to help.

“Because up to now we’ve had the same old same old, and if you vote for the same two parties and expect a change that’s insanity,” Tatar said.

Each candidate hopes to be the Libertarian nominee for governor following the August primary. This is the first-ever primary between Libertarian candidates for governor in Michigan.  

Both candidates think voters need more than just two choices for governor, but they do differ politically in some ways.

The biggest difference between the candidates during the debate is that Tatar emphasized traditional conservative values, such as eliminating the income tax and getting rid of gun registration, more than Gelineau.

Gelineau says he appreciates having Tatar as his opponent.

“I think John has made me a better candidate, and has forced me to think more critically about what our differences are. And what our approaches would be different if we were given the opportunity to serve,” Gelineau said.

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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