Skip to main content
Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Watch Michigan Republican governor debate from Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island
Four GOP candidates go head-to-head at gubernatorial debate. (Shutterstock)

Update: Republicans: More guns — not more laws — will keep Michigan schools safe

Four Republicans campaigning for governor will take part in a debate at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference.

The debate features media personality Tudor Dixon of Norton Shores, chiropractor Garrett Soldano of Mattawan, businessman Kevin Rinke of Bloomfield Township, and pastor Ralph Rebandt of Farmington Hills. 

All are seeking the Republican nomination to take on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, in the November general election. The remaining Republican candidate on the ballot, activist Ryan Kelley, did not attend the conference.

Five Republican candidates, including presumed frontrunners James Craig and Perry Johnson, were removed from the Aug. 2 primary after state officials concluded they submitted fraudulent signatures to qualify for election. 

The Michigan Bureau of Elections, in a staff report released last week, said 36 circulators forged 68,000 signatures total for numerous candidates statewide, including down-ballot races.


Related: James Craig loses ballot access suit; Johnson appeals to Michigan Supreme Court

The disqualified candidates say they were defrauded by unscrupulous signature gatherers.

Craig’s suit to get on the ballot was rejected by a judge on Thursday. He said he will appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, a Michigan Court of Appeals issued a similar ruling denying Johnson and Michael Markey, a Grand Haven financial adviser, a spot on the ballot.

How impactful was this article for you?

Only donate if we've informed you about important Michigan issues

See what new members are saying about why they donated to Bridge Michigan:

  • “In order for this information to be accurate and unbiased it must be underwritten by its readers, not by special interests.” - Larry S.
  • “Not many other media sources report on the topics Bridge does.” - Susan B.
  • “Your journalism is outstanding and rare these days.” - Mark S.

If you want to ensure the future of nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan journalism, please become a member today. You, too, will be asked why you donated and maybe we'll feature your quote next time!

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Pay with PayPal Donate Now