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How to watch Dixon-Whitmer gubernatorial debates on Oct. 13 and Oct. 25

dixon and whitmer
Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates will debate twice in October ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

Oct. 21: How to watch the Tudor Dixon, Gretchen Whitmer second debate on Oct. 25
Oct. 21: Whitmer: Proposal 3, abortion rights will help Michigan ‘steal’ jobs from Ohio

Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican challenger Tudor Dixon have agreed to meet for two debates in October.

The two candidates will debate at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 in Grand Rapids and 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Oakland University in Rochester.



The general election is Nov. 8. Here’s what to know about the debates:

How do you watch?

Multiple channels throughout lower Michigan will televise both debates. The first is hosted y WOOD-TV, while the second is by WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), WXMI-TV (Fox 17), WSYM-TV (Fox 47), and Oakland University's Center for Civic Engagement.

Bridge Michigan plans to embed the debates on its home page and stream them live.

What to expect from the debates

Plenty of fireworks, especially from Dixon.

She is a former conservative news host, businesswoman who is trailing badly to the governor in recent polls and fundraising. Dixon has struggled to pay for TV ads so it would be an opportunity to present herself to a wider audience and try to close the gap.

Each debate is one hour.

WOOD-TV political reporter Rick Albin will moderate the first debate, while the second debate has three moderators: Chuck Stokes of WXYZ, Elle Meyers of WSYM and Doug Reardon of WXMI. 

Both Whitmer and Dixon will also answer questions from audience members Oct.21 at the Detroit Economic Club, but they won’t share the stage.

What about the other candidates?

It’s not looking good.

Incumbent Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, has refused to debate Republican challenger Matthew DePerno because her office referred him to a special prosecutor for possible criminal charges alleging tampering with voting equipment.

Nessel also said DePerno "has a propensity to engage in name-calling, and in utilizing racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and misogynistic rhetoric and imagery."


DePerno sought three debates and went so far as to appear outside Democratic banquet in Saginaw County this week to challenge Nessel to a debate in the parking lot. She did not agree and he left.

Secretary of State incumbent Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, agreed to debate Republican challenger Kristina Karamo on PBS. Karamo disagreed and “there will not be anything planned,” Benson spokesperson Liz Boyd said.

In an Aug. 31 statement on Twitter, Karamo said she wanted a “co-moderator leaning towards Republican in order to balance out the PBS personality.” Karamo also said she wanted the debate before absentee ballots were sent out.

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