Four candidates have committed to attending Wednesday's nonpartisan Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Michigan's Economic and Environmental Future: Republican Businessman Rick Snyder of Ann Arbor, Republican State Sen. Tom George of Kalamazoo, Democratic Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and Democrat State Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith (who stepped out of the race only today).

But four others have declined to attend the 7-9 p.m. May 12 forum at Central Michigan University, sponsored by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Detroit Free Press, Michigan Radio and ConservAmerica.

This includes Republican Attorney General Mike Cox, who has been fighting for protections to keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes via a Chicago-area shipping canal.

Deputy Director Kerry Duggan is encouraging Cox, along with Republicans Peter Hoekstra and Mike Bouchard and Democrat Andy Dillon, to attend the forum and said, “Voters are encouraged to contact the potential no-shows and invite them to attend."

A list of campaign e-mail and phone numbers are provided below.

This will be the first forum following the May 11 filing deadline for the race to decide who will replace Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is term-limited. The forum will focus on the role of Michigan’s chief executive in rebuilding Michigan’s economy and safeguarding our natural resources.

State Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, D-Salem Township, had previously agreed to attend Wednesday's forum, but dropped out of the race today, stating, “I regret that only 3 of the remaining 7 candidates have agreed to participate. Citizens deserve to understand their positions on the critical issues involving the environment and they need to be on record.” Wheeler Smith continued, “My greatest fear is that regardless of the outcome of the November election, the environment will suffer in terms of relaxed regulatory rules and structure.”

Executive Director Lisa Wozniak said, “With such pertinent issues as the threat of Asian Carp and a burgeoning clean energy economy facing the next governor, there is a great need for a sustained discussion with the candidates about their plans to protect our economy and natural resources. This forum offers the opportunity for such a discussion."

The forum will be moderated and broadcast live on Michigan Radio, played on statewide public television and streamed live over the Internet at the Detroit Free Press (www.freep.com) and Michigan Radio (www.michiganradio.org) websites. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. No signs, posters or banners will be permitted, in order to maintain a neutral, respectful atmosphere for the candidates.

Besides encouraging candidates to attend, the public is also invited to pose questions. Questions can be submitted via e-mail to kerry@archive2016.michiganlcv.org. Please include your name, hometown and contact information in case clarification is needed.

Sponsors for the event include Bell's Brewery Inc., BluewaterWind, Michigan Environmental Council, Waste Management, Miller Canfield, The Engineering Society of Detroit, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, Michigan Press Association, Michigan Recreation & Park Association, and The Political Winery.

Wednesday's forum is at Plachta Auditorium, located in Warriner Hall on the CMU campus in Mount Pleasant. A map is available here.

For more information, contact Kerry Duggan at kerry@archive2016.michiganlcv.org or (734) 222-9650, or visit www.archive2016.michiganlcv.org.

Contact information for the Cox, Hoekstra, Bouchard and Dillon campaigns is as follows:

Mike Cox:

e-mail: contact@mikecox2010.com

phone: (734) 525-5035

website: www.mikecox2010.com/

Peter Hoekstra:

email: tellpete@hoekstraforgovernor.com

phone: (616) 396-3354

website: www.hoekstraforgovernor.com/

Mike Bouchard:

email: see www.bouchardforgovernor.com/home/contact/

phone: (248) 647-2010

website: www.bouchardforgovernor.com

Andy Dillon:

email: dillonformi@gmail.com

phone: (313) 657-4759

website: www.andydillon.com

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund is challenging the state's next governor to be a responsible environmental steward and address Michigan's most pressing environmental priorities: Promoting a clean and energy-efficient economy, protecting our water resources, advocating for healthy land use and stewardship, and ensuring a healthy future for Michigan's children. A briefing book has been provided to each candidate for Governor, titled Governing the Great Lakes State.



Jeff Kart | Online Communications Director

Michigan League of Conservation Voters | Michigan LCV Education Fund

213 West Liberty Street | Suite 300 | Ann Arbor | Michigan | 48104 | (734) 222-9650

40 Monroe Center NW | Suite 200 | Grand Rapids | Michigan | 49503 | (616) 459-6459