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Dixon at Trump rally: 'We're still within striking distance' of Whitmer

Craig Mauger, The Detroit News on

Published in Political News

WARREN, Mich. — Republican nominee for Michigan governor Tudor Dixon said her campaign was "within striking distance" of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as top Michigan GOP candidates claimed a Saturday night rally with former President Donald Trump would benefit them on election night.

At about 6 p.m., a few thousand people were gathered inside the Macomb County Community College Sports and Expo Center in Warren to hear speeches from Trump, Dixon and others. The event was taking place 38 days before a pivotal election, in which the GOP is hoping to unseat three Democrats who hold the battleground state's top offices.

Dixon, a political commentator and businesswoman from Norton Shores, spoke for about 25 minutes before Trump took the stage at 7:15 p.m. Dixon used her speech to criticize Whitmer for running what she described as a "basement campaign" and vowed to make Michigan's schools the best in the nation.

"After all of the spending, we’re still within striking distance," Dixon told reporters afterward. "I think it means that our message is resonating and she doesn’t really have a message.”

Republican secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo said she was planning to use the event with Trump to energize supporters to go out and knock doors and talk to voters in her bid to unseat Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

"It galvanizes the troops," said Karamo, an educator from Oak Park. "It gets people involved. It helps spread the message."

 

Karamo, Dixon and Matt DePerno, the Republican candidate against Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel, have all been endorsed by Trump and spoke at Saturday's rally.

The Democratic candidates have maintained leads in public polling. Whitmer was up by 13 percentage points, according to an Aug. 29 through Sept. 1 survey by The Detroit News and WDIV-TV. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Dixon's running mate, former state Rep. Shane Hernandez, participated in a tailgate in a parking lot outside the rally Saturday afternoon.

Hernandez, a Republican, said Trump's appearance would bring excitement to the Michigan campaigns and get the grassroots of the party involved.

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