Michigan Voter Guide 2022: State Governor

WDET Voter Guide

Michigan voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, for the 2022 midterm elections. One of the races on the ballot is Michigan’s state governor. Candidates include incumbent Gretchen Whitmer and her Republican opponent Tudor Dixon.

Keep reading to learn the candidates’ answers to the questionnaire they received from WDET.

Jump to Gretchen Whitmer

Jump to Tudor Dixon

Gretchen Whitmer
Photo Credit: Gretchen Whitmer for Governor

Gretchen Whitmer – Democrat

Why are you the best candidate to lead the State of Michigan as its governor?

Tough times call for tough people. Michiganders have shown remarkable grit and resilience through everything the past few years have thrown our way. Despite all the challenges of the past few years, we have brought people together to get things done that make a difference on the kitchen table issues, improving public education, creating good-paying jobs, keeping communities safe, cutting costs for families, and strengthening our infrastructure.

Every single bill I have signed – over 900 in the last four years – has been bipartisan, and I am willing to sit down with anyone to help people.

We made Michigan’s largest-ever investment in K-12 education – tripling the number of reading coaches, increasing access to mental health care, and expanding before- and after-school programs.

We helped enroll 35,000 children in high-quality pre-K and brought affordable child care to 150,000 kids. We cut taxes for small businesses and delivered over $400 million to support small businesses and retain jobs.

We are fixing the damn roads and have repaired over 13,000 lane miles and over 900 bridges, while supporting over 80,000 good-paying jobs. We turned a projected $3 billion deficit into a $7 billion surplus and passed three balanced budgets without raising taxes, setting our state up for a bright future.

We will continue to overcome the challenges thrown our way and build a stronger Michigan.

How will you help Michigan’s economy recover from the effects of inflation in the U.S.?

Right now, Michiganders are facing rising prices at the pump, at the grocery store, and on everyday expenses. I have always been focused on lowering costs for Michiganders, and I am fighting hard to continue to put more money back in people’s pockets.

We have worked to cut costs for families by securing $400 refund checks for every Michigan driver, for each car they own. We have put 170,000 Michiganders on a tuition-free path to higher education and skills training, and just recently I created the Michigan Achievement Scholarship to make 75 percent of Michigan families eligible for up to $5,500 in financial aid for in-state tuition at Michigan’s 15 public universities and colleges.

I plan to build on these programs and deliver more savings to more families so Michiganders have a high quality of life and low cost of living. I proposed a plan to send $500 from the state surplus to Michigan’s working families to combat rising prices. I want to repeal the retirement tax so our seniors can keep more of their hard earned dollars, which would save half a million households an average of $1,000 a year. I also want to triple Michigan’s earned income tax credit and provide over 700,000 Michiganders an average combined credit of $3,000.

Michigan’s hardworking families need relief right now, and I will work with anyone to get it done.

What environmental policies would you support to help protect Michigan’s natural resources?

The health of Michigan families and the strength of our economy depend on the fundamentals of clean air and safe water. Since taking office, I have worked to protect Michigan’s beautiful environment including the Great Lakes and reduce the impacts of climate change on communities, and I have made bold investments to ensure the future of sustainable manufacturing and electrification is made in Michigan, by Michigan workers.

To secure clean drinking water for every family, I have invested more than $2 billion to upgrade water infrastructure, while supporting 30,000 good-paying jobs. I am protecting our parks and public lands with more than $100 million in funding on top of $450 million for state and community parks, trails, and recreation facilities.

I launched the MI Healthy Climate Plan to strengthen our economy and create opportunity right here at home while moving our state towards clean energy goals. We have invested in climate resilient infrastructure and upgrades to support communities facing new climate challenges.

I am proud of the work we have done securing historic investments in clean, affordable energy to move our state toward energy independence and protect our environment, and I look forward to building on this momentum in my second term.

Do you support a woman’s legal right to choose to have an abortion in the State of Michigan?

The ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade was devastating. When we saw indications this might be coming, I filed a lawsuit in April and used my authority as governor to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether our state constitution protects the right to abortion. And in August, I fought for and won a preliminary injunction to prevent Michigan’s draconian 1931 abortion ban from going into effect. I am fighting like hell to ensure my daughters do not live in a world where they have fewer rights than I did, and I am more determined than ever to protect the right to choose in Michigan. 

What policies would you support to improve Michigan’s education system?

Four years in a row we made the largest investment in K-12 education in state history without raising taxes – tripling the number of reading coaches, increasing access to mental health care, boosting career and technical education programs, and expanding before- and after-school programs. I closed the school funding gap, something the previous four governors tried to accomplish, and I will continue to make historic investments in K-12 education and support our students with impactful resources like tutoring.

I hope to make Michigan a top 10 state for literacy. I want to double down to tackle unfinished learning by fully funding the MI Kids Back on Track plan to offer free tutoring for every student who needs it. We secured over $50M in funding in this year’s budget which is a great start, but I know we can get the rest of it done so that every kid in Michigan has access to a qualified tutor.

Extra personalized instruction, like tutoring, is a critical tool for parents to help their kids get caught up and on the right track after a tough few years. In a tutoring setting, students get help from a caring, qualified adult who is focused on their specific learning challenges. If we get this done, we can offer every student in Michigan—all 1.4 million of them—extra help with a qualified tutor.

Every family deserves access to high-quality education, and I will continue to fight for Michigan students.

What action(s) would you take to improve Michigan’s infrastructure?

 We have made so much progress rebuilding our infrastructure: over 13,000 lane miles and more than 900 bridges repaired, supporting more than 80,000 good-paying jobs. Our roads are improving, and we have more roads in good condition now than any other time in almost 20 years, without raising taxes by a dime.

While we cannot reverse decades of disinvestment overnight, we are putting our foot on the accelerator. I brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass the Building Michigan Together infrastructure plan – making meaningful investments in water infrastructure, affordable housing, broadband, and roads and bridges. That shows that we can come together and get something done on infrastructure.

I remain open to working with anyone who’s serious about finding long-term solutions. One place where I’m hoping we can make progress is giving local governments more options for how to raise revenue for roads. And as we transition from internal combustion to electric vehicles, we will also need solutions for changing our revenue model.

I am proud of the work we did coming together to secure those resources, and I’m ready to work with the Legislature to keep working to build resilient roads, bridges, and water infrastructure for our state.

Tudor Dixon – Republican

Tudor Dixon did not respond to our questionnaire. You can view more information at Dixon’s official campaign website.

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