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Michigan candidates turn to big names to help 'Get-Out-The-Vote' for the November election

(file photo)
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
(file photo)

Michigan’s Republican and Democratic candidates for governor are bringing in big names to help them campaign this weekend.

Democratic Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer spent Friday on the campaign trail, including stops in Bay City, Saginaw and Flint.

On Saturday, Whitmer will be campaigning with former President Barack Obama in Detroit.

“I think he’s got an important voice,” Whitmer told Michigan Radio during a campaign stop in Bay City. “And the fact that he’s eager to come back and get out on the stump, I think is fantastic.”

Whitmer said she also would welcome current President Joe Biden, if he decided to campaign with her before the November election.

“I’ll take anyone who wants to come in and help and stump with us,” said Whitmer.

Republican Challenger Tudor Dixon is also busy rallying her supporters, including hosting a pair of townhall-style events on Friday.

Dixon will be campaigning with former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard left the Democratic Party earlier this month to become an independent.

Kicking off Dixon's ten-day bus tour, Dixon and Gabbard will hold several campaign events, including a rally in Southfield on Saturday and a rally in Dearborn on Sunday.

Bringing in big names and holding large events is all part of the campaigns and political parties’ efforts to “Get-Out-The-Vote.”

At an event in Bay City on Friday, one speaker urged everyone attending to knock on doors, call or text registered voters to make sure they cast a ballot.

David Dulio is a professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Oakland University.

Dulio said “Get-Out-The-Vote” has long been a staple of political campaigns. But he said the game has changed in recent years.

“Now with a much greater reliance upon absentee ballots, there’s not one election day...there are 45,” said Dulio.

Dulio says “Get-Out-The-Vote” efforts are even more critical this year with polls showing many very close elections on the Michigan ballot.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.