In Michigan
8:18 am
Mon April 19, 2010

Gubernatorial candidates meet for Democratic Party forum in Detroit

Detroit, MI – The three Democrats seeking their party's nomination for governor appeared at a forum in Detroit Sunday. It was an opportunity for about 80 people who bought tickets to a Democratic fundraiser to get a closer look at the candidates.

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Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero took aim at the two legislators he's likely to face on the August ballot. Bernero says House Speaker Andy Dillon in particular is largely to blame for the state's budget crisis and cuts to schools and higher education.

"They seem to operate in another universe over at the state capitol," Bernero said. "So, we need to do things differently, vastly different."

Dillon says he's been fighting for change against big obstacles.

"And I'll tell you, I'm not for the status quo in Lansing," he said.

State Representative Alma Wheeler Smith was the only candidate to call for more taxes to fund schools, and pre-school, and to guarantee free college tuition.

"I don't care if people like me," said Smith. "I am going to do what it takes to turn Michigan around."

The winner of the August primary will appear on the November ballot.