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Senate GOP Candidates Tangle in TV Debate

Senate Republican candidates debate at WKAR-TV.  L-R: Randall Hekman, Clark Durant, Moderator Tim Skubick, Pete Hoekstra
Bill Richards

Three Republicans running for their party’s U.S. Senate nomination appeared together Thursday in their only televised debate of this primary season.

The candidates agreed on gun control, school reform, requiring super-majorities for tax hikes and opposing federal money for a new international bridge in Detroit.

But former Congressman Pete Hoekstra and charter school executive Clark Durant still found plenty to argue about.

The sparring between Durant and Hoeksta prompted former judge and fellow candidate Randy Hekman to chime in…

“This is like two people wrestling in a little row boat heading over the Niagara Falls,” he observed.

The debate was heated at times, but all three candidates agreed to support the winner of Tuesday’s GOP primary, who will go on to face incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow in November. A fourth Republican, Gary Glenn, will also appear on the primary ballot even though he dropped out and endorsed Durant.

The G-O-P debate will air this week on Michigan Public Television stations. It can also be viewed at http://wkar.org/live-webcast-wkar

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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