Three Gubernatorial Candidates Make for Spirited Discussion, Plans on for Post-Primary Michigan Candidate Forum

The election season is officially in full swing following Wednesday’s Gubernatorial Forum, on the campus of Central Michigan University. The non-partisan forum --- the first of Michigan's election season --- was a success. The Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund is now considering plans for another forum after the August primary, when the field will be down to two candidates vying for the role of Michigan's chief executive.

Wednesday’s forum was well-attended and received wide media coverage. Candidates Rick Snyder, Virg Bernero and Tom George fielded questions from Ron Dzwonkowski of the Detroit Free Press and Vince Duffy of Michigan Radio about the state's environmental and economic future, two issues that are inextricably linked.

"People who attended or were tuned to Internet, radio or TV broadcasts were treated to a spirited discussion of issues ranging from wind turbines in the Great Lakes and stricter renewable energy standards to disparate impacts from the siting of industrial facilities and the impacts of invasive species on our Great Lakes," said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

"There were clear distinctions between the candidates on several topics. We intend to keep highlighting key issues of importance to our state as the governor's race moves forward: Promoting a clean, efficient energy economy; protecting our water resources; advocating for healthy land use and stewardship; and ensuring a healthy future for our children. 

"While voters would have appreciated hearing from the full slate of gubernatorial candidates, the unwillingness of the other four candidates to participate in this critical discussion sends a message, in itself."

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund would like to thank its partners in hosting Wednesday's forum, including the Detroit Free Press, Michigan Radio and ConservAmerica. 

Plans for a major, post-primary event are being discussed, and the Education Fund is talking with potential partners. 

Michigan's party primary elections are Aug. 3. On the ballot will be five Republicans --- Mike Bouchard, Mike Cox, Tom George, Pete Hoekstra, and Rick Snyder --- and two Democrats, Virg Bernero and Andy Dillon. The winners from each party will advance to the November general election to replace Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is term-limited.