MI Republican Gubernatorial candidate debate is history

Published: Jun. 25, 2018 at 2:54 PM EDT
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The Republican Gubernatorial Debate happened on June 28 in Detroit.

It was the second, and final televised debate before the August primary.

The following candidates were involved in the debate:

  • Lt. Governor Brian Calley
  • State Senator Patrick Colbeck
  • Dr. Jim Hines
  • Attorney General Bill Schuette

The debate lasted one hour. It was moderated by WDIV's Devin Scillian. You can watch the debate via the embedded video below:

NOW: Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidates debate.

Posted by WILX News 10 on Thursday, June 28, 2018

Schuette made his endorsement of President Donald Trump clear, and says he would cut taxes in Michigan like Trump did at the federal level.

Calley says he and Gov. Rick Snyder created an environment that lead to the creation of more than a half-million private-sector jobs.

Colbeck says there's no enthusiasm in the GOP debate for either Schuette or Calley.

Hines says he is a true outsider non-politician candidate.

A short run through of the questions / answers is available below:

Auto Insurance Rates

Calley says he wants Michigan do "do away" with the all or nothing approach. He wants transparency in the system.

Schuette wants to crack down on insurance fraud, and stop frivolous lawsuits - and give consumers more insurance options.

Colbeck wants to eliminate state mandates, eliminate the no fault system, and go back to a tort system.

Hines says voters are paying too much, and he wants a fraud authority.

Tariffs on Steal and Aluminum

Schuette says Trump is trying to re-balance trade. Schuette wants to move forward and make sure Michigan has more jobs, and more trading.

Colbeck supports providing fair trade, and not free trade - supporting President Trump.

Hines believes that tariffs are hard, but he trusts President Trump. Says we need fair and balanced trade.

Calley says that Michigan has faced tough times in adjusting to the globalization of the economy. He says we need fair access to other markets.

Michigan Roads

Colbeck wants to focus on higher quality of road construction.

Hines wants to fix potholes like a dentist fixes a cavity.

Calley wants to keep paying off debt, and raise standards so when roads are replaced they last.

Colbeck asked to use a rebuttal, and indicates that he was the only candidate that identified how Michigan should fix roads.

Schuette wants to review the Michigan Department of Transportation, and how they spend money.

Calley used a rebuttal, and indicated that Schuette did not actually answer the question.


Hines does not believe that money will solve the issue of education. He wants to focus on the "basics," reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Calley wants to focus on connecting students to opportunities so they can "find their passion."

Schuette indicated that Michigan's 3rd grade reading is among the lowest. He is opposed to common core.

Colbeck said it's time to stop micromanaging classrooms, and go back to the basics.

Mass Shootings

All of the candidates agreed that law abiding citizens should retain the right to bear arms. Hines, Schuette, and Calley seem to agree that mental health issues should be addressed. Colbeck wants to eliminate gun free zones.


Schuette wants rules, to secure the border, and no more sanctuary cities. Hines notes that secure borders are important.

Colbeck also believes sanctuary cities should not be tolerated, and that they do not deserve public funding.

Calley is on board with securing the border, building a wall, but is against separating families.


Colbeck indicates he wants equal benefits for all citizens. Hines focused on making sure students can read, write, and do math.

Calley wants more competitive tax reform. Schuette wants Michigan to grow, and make sure incentives are balanced.

Great Lakes Protections

The candidates all indicated that they would support protecting the Great Lakes.

Closing Statements

Calley indicates Michigan cannot find enough people to fill jobs. Schuette said Michigan's future is all about creating more jobs, and bigger paychecks.

Colbeck said citizens deserve better, and spoke on the topic of TV ads.

Hines mentioned he was an outsider, and that he has never run for office before.

Brian Calley

Brian Calley is the Lt. Governor of Michigan. He ran with Rick Snyder in 2010 and they were re-elected in 2014. Previous to being second to Governor Snyder, he was a community banker for ten years. He was elected twice to the Ionia County Board of Commissioners while in the public sector.

He later left banking to run for State Representative. Calley has been behind some major tax cuts in Michigan changing the state's ranking in the nation for business climate and corporate tax. He is in favor of smaller and more efficient government, efforting to reduce many rules and regulations in Michigan. Michigan's unemployment rate is at a 17-year low and the state is #1 in the country for creating manufacturing jobs.

He led the Mental Health and Wellness Commission, the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, the Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board and the Mental Health Diversion Council. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and is working to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities through the "MI Hidden Talent" initiative.

Patrick Colbeck

Colbeck has served two terms in the Michigan Senate. He has an aerospace engineering degree from University of Michigan and has instructed kids at Space Camp.

Before going into politics he was a small business owner. In 2011, he founded the Michigan Freedom Center with a mission to "serve those who serve us," in the military.  He wants to see job growth, excellence in education, no state income tax, budgets driven by priorities of the citizens of the state, better roads, quality and affordable healthcare and affordable auto insurance.

Dr. Jim Hines

Dr. Hines is not a politician and has never ran for office, he is a medical doctor, who has delivered thousands of babies over 38 years. He's also ran two mission hospitals and Urgent Care facilities in the Central African Republic. He co-owns a medical practice with 45 employees and is a former small business owner.

He is also a former chief of Covenant HealthCare and the former national president of the Christian Medical and Dental Association.  He has many focuses for the campaign; a few of them are Michigan jobs and keeping taxes under control, child abuse, education and literacy, integrity and governing in line with the original intent of the founding fathers, and a goal of affordable, accessible, and high-quality healthcare for everyone who wants it.

Bill Schuette

Schuette is currently Michigan's Attorney General. He's the 53rd AG for the state of Michigan. He formed the Michigan Commission of Human Trafficking, is behind the plan to fund the testing of thousands of forgotten DNA evidence boxes in hopes of providing justice to victims of sexual assault, and most recently he put 1000 new police officers on the street.

Some of his focuses are on more jobs, ending the opioid crisis, rolling back a tax increase put in place by Gov. Granholm, cutting auto insurance rates, protecting victims of human trafficking and sexual assault, and better schools in Michigan.