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A look back on the first GOP Gubernatorial debate in Howell

Posted at 6:13 AM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 06:51:43-04

(WXYZ) — It was a packed house for the first GOP debate in Howell.

Eight candidates took to the stage and several hot-topic issues were brought up. That includes abortion.

All candidates say they are pro-life but with exceptions.

"My position is the same as Donald Trump, both Bush's and Ronald Reagan. I believe in pro-life with exceptions—rape, incest, and the life of the mother," candidate Kevin Rinke said.

Vaccines were also a hot topic issue during the debate. All GOP candidates say they were against mandating them.

"It's everyone's individual right to determine what their healthcare is. If you want to get vaccinated—great. If you didn't—great," Mike Brown said.

Tudor Dixon chimed in saying she believed some lives were actually saved due to the COVID-19 vaccine.

"In certain cases where the people were over the age of 65, it looks like it did actually reduce the overall incidents of death," Perry Johnson added.

Other topics included taxes. There was a proposal to entirely cut the state income tax.

"If we create an environment, people will come and that's the first step and that's why I proposed," Rinke said.

The candidates also discussed the 2020 election, policing, nursing home deaths, and how children lost learning time during the pandemic.

The candidate will debate again ahead of the primary debate on August 2. The winner of that will face Governor Gretchen Whitmer at the November 8 debate.