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Schuette, Whitmer spar in final gubernatorial debate

The second and final debate between the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor aired Wednesday night.

Former state Senate Minority leader, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and state Attorney General, Republican Bill Schuette used the opportunity to reiterate their agendas for Michigan. They attacked each other’s records in their respective offices on issues like the environment and auto no fault insurance.

At times during the debate, the candidates also needled each other. Like when Whitmer accused Schuette of pivoting to the same talking points.

“Well, the attorney general has the same talking points for every question. You forgot to use the word extreme in that one, Bill,” said Whitmer.

Schuette continually said that Whitmer is the second coming of former Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm.

“That’s what’ll happen if Jennifer – er Gretchen Whitmer – it’s easy to get them confused,” said Schuette.

The evening ended with a question about our divided nation. Earlier in the day, it was revealed that pipe bombs were sent to prominent Democratic leaders – including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Whitmer said divisive rhetoric is part of the problem.

“My opponent stands here and calls me extreme. You know what I’m extreme on? I’m extreme on believing that we can do better in Michigan,” she said.

Schuette said people need to stop shouting at each other instead of having discussions. 

Election Day is November 6th.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R