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Dems Square-Off In Final Debate For State's Top Job

Primary election day is Tuesday, August 7.

July 19, 2018 - 11:06 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - The second and final debate between Democrats held in Detroit Thursday night. The three candidates competing to be Michigan’s next governor took part in the debate ahead of the primary election on Aug. 7.  Gretchen Whitmer, Shri Thanedar and Abdul El-Sayed all gathered inside of the WDIV-TV studios downtown.

Thanedar spoke first about his desire to take the state of Michigan to the next level. 

"I look a little different, I speak a little different than the governors you have elected in the past. But this time, I believe, that Michigan needs someone who thinks like me," said Thanedar. "I want to take the state to the next level through fixing our education system, fixing our roads and making health care available to all."

Thanedar linking single-payer healthcare to lower auto rates. "Michiganders have been burdened by the No-Fault and unlimited coverage for healthcare -- now once we pass single-payer healthcare in Michigan the health insurance part of auto insurance will be covered and that will help reduce our auto insurance rates."

Next to speak was Abdul El-Sayed.
 
"It is time to go back to a government for the people and by the people. I'm standing to deliver universal health care through MichiCare, our Medicare for all program to reverse the rates on auto insurance and to de-DeVos our public schools."

El-Sayed also favors dismantling the current auto insurance setup. 

"To reverse the rates, first we've got to ban red-lining. No more taking into account where somebody lives or what their education is to decide how much to pay for something as simple as insurance. Two, we're going to set up a 'truth in insurance commission.' Three, we've got to stop the fraud and abuse. The exploitation by lawyers, the exploitation by doctors. And lastly, the reason insurance in Michigan is so expensive, is because we're one of the few states that require auto insurance to be health insurance too."  

And finally, former State Senator Gretchen Whitmer shared her vision and priorities for Michigan.

"We deserve a governor who is going to stay focused on the issues that matter, not get distracted by political games, like cutting the cost of auto insurance - making sure that every one of us has a path to high-wage jobs and, yes,  fixin' the damn roads.

"We have to remember that the goal of no-fault was to bring down litigation," she says. "And ensure that people who are catastrophically injured have the health care that they need. Our system has to meet both of those goals."

On the other side of the political aisle, the Republican candidates for governor, including Attorney General Bill Schuette, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, state Sen. Patrick Colbeck and Saginaw obstetrician Jim Hines -- met in Detroit for their final debate late last month.

Primary election day is Tuesday, August 7.