The Republican and Democratic candidates for governor are now set to participate in two debates, one more than the two agreed to as of Wednesday. But GOP nominee Dick Posthumus is still calling for nine debates, a claim his opponent’s campaign said is disingenuous.

Paul Wong
Paul Wong

Talks had broken down Wednesday with the appearance that there would be only one debate. Although the two debates between the Republican lieutenant governor and Democratic attorney general are certain, there is talk of a third.

Posthumus and Granholm are expected to face off Oct. 7 on Grand Rapids’ WOOD-TV and in an untelevised debate at the Economic Club of Detroit Oct. 15. Posthumus spokesman Sage Eastman said the two camps have agreed to do a debate on Saginaw’s WNEM-TV, but no date has been set.

Granholm, the front-runner in the race, yesterday rebuffed the idea of nine debates. It has been a long practice in politics of frontrunners wanting fewer debates than their underdog opponents.

“That’s a joke,” Granholm spokesman Chris De Witt said. “During the debate negotiations, they only talked about three.”

No televised debate is expected for the metropolitan area, which has the Posthumus campaign irked.

Granholm “doesn’t want to come to Detroit where most of the voters are,” Eastman said. “And why should she if she’s going to tell them she’s going to raise their taxes.”

Granholm has previously said she would like to “tweak” Proposal A, the successful 1994 ballot proposal that froze property taxes and prevented local school districts from holding elections to raise property millages. Granholm denies any tweaking would involve potential tax increases.

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