Republican, Democratic Candidates Clash Over Ethics, Racism

May 11, 2018

Candidates for governor at Michigan Press Association forum. From left: State Senator Patrick Colbeck (R), Doctor Jim Hines (R), Former state Senator Gretchen Whitmer (D), Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (R), Shri Thanedar (D), Abdul El-Sayed (D), Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley (R)
Credit Rick Pluta / Michigan Public Radio Network

(MPRN-Lansing) The four Republicans and three Democrats running for governor appeared together Thursday for the first time. 

Arguments about ethics and racism broke out at the forum. The biggest flashpoint came when Republican state Senator Patrick Colbeck said one of the Democrats has connections to Muslim terrorist groups.

Abdul El-Sayed fired back that other Republicans running should join him in condemning the allegation.

“And what I have not heard is the Republicans on this panel decisively and swiftly call out this kind of Islamophobia, this kind of racism.”

The Michigan Republican Party has condemned Colbeck’s allegations. The event was the annual Michigan Press Association convention of reporters, editors, and publishers.