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Gretchen Whitmer and Tudor Dixon face their first debate this week

City of Detroit, Flickr/Paul Sancya, AP

Michigan’s major gubernatorial contenders head for their first face-to-face debate this week.

Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Republican challenger Tudor Dixon square off in Grand Rapids on Thursday, Oct. 13.

The candidates meet again Oct. 25 at Oakland University.

Both candidates will take questions at the Detroit Economic Club on Oct. 21, though they will not debate each other.

The appearances come as Whitmer has far out-raised and out-spent her GOP rival – running ads hammering her anti-abortion stance.

Dixon counters by blasting Whitmer’s lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in 2020, saying they hurt Michigan’s economy, students and nursing home residents.

A recent CBS News/YouGov poll of 1,100 registered voters taken last week shows Whitmer leading Dixon by six points, with a margin of error of about 3.5 points.

But the vast majority of public polling during the campaign has placed Whitmer with a far larger double digit lead heading toward Election Day.

Quinn Klinefelter is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, anchoring midday newscasts and preparing reports for WDET, NPR and the BBC.