Major Detroit Newspaper Endorses Tudor Dixon: She Would ‘Return Michigan to Consensus Governing’

FILE - Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon appears at a primary election party
AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File

The editorial board of the Detroit News, one of Michigan’s largest newspapers, weighed in Wednesday on the state’s gubernatorial race, announcing its endorsement of Republican Tudor Dixon over incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), whom the board criticized for having an “inclination toward authoritarianism.”

Dixon, a conservative commentator and political outsider, is “informed, measured and focused on the right priorities,” the board stated, noting it was “reassured” following interviews with Dixon and her debate performance against Whitmer.

The Detroit News tends to lean right compared to the Motor City’s other major newspaper, the Detroit Free Press; however, the Detroit News’s editorial board has endorsed a Democrat two elections in a row for secretary of state and has chosen not to endorse at all in the attorney general race this year, citing “malodorous” candidates. It endorsed the Republican candidate over Whitmer in 2018.

In its endorsement of Dixon, the editorial board touched on the Michigan Republican’s positions on election integrity, tax cuts, education, business regulations, abortion, and the state budget.

While the board was turned off by Dixon’s concerns of voter fraud following the 2020 election, it was satisfied with Dixon’s vow to accept the “will of the voters” in the upcoming midterms.

Dixon’s gubernatorial agenda includes scaling back and eventually eliminating the state income tax, while Whitmer has committed only to considering a graduated income tax.

Dixon’s position appealed to the editorial board, which stated, “A tax code that punishes success would be a huge blow to the state’s ability to attract jobs and investment, and would likely send businesses and residents packing to other states with a less tax burden.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer arrives at the Motor Bella held in Pontiac, Michigan on September 21, 2021. - The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) did not hold its 2021 auto show as planned due to Covid concerns but instead, they are hosting an auto-centric event called Motor Bella. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer arrives at the Motor Bella held in Pontiac, Michigan, on September 21, 2021. (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Reallocating some control over school curriculum and policies from teachers’ unions to parents is an education stance that separates Dixon from Whitmer. Teachers’ unions overwhelmingly back Whitmer, the editorial board observed.

Dixon previously had a business career in the steel industry, and the editorial board noted this experience lends way to Dixon being “more receptive to the concerns of the business community about overregulation. She would be less beholden to union interests than Whitmer has been.”

Whitmer, like many vulnerable Democrats, has campaigned heavily on abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade this year. Whitmer has joined many from her party in repeatedly claiming “women’s rights” are at stake now that authority over abortion policy has been relegated to the states.

Dixon, who is vocally pro-life, has vowed to uphold Proposal 3 should Michiganders vote in favor of it on the ballot, which the editorial board appeared to find reasonable. The proposal, which pro-life advocates deeply oppose, would permit women in Michigan to abort their unborn babies until they reach viability.

Citing her fiscal conservatism, the editorial board also applauded Dixon’s ability to serve as a “good steward of Michigan’s finances” amid the state grappling with the nation’s crippling inflation rate.

As for Whitmer, the editorial board tore into the Michigan Democrat for perceived abuse of her powers as governor when Chinese coronavirus cases began surging in 2020:

Our issue is not that she took control of the state at that dark moment, but rather that she held onto unilateral authority well beyond the initial sorting out period and used it to bypass representative governing.

Whitmer issued a string of orders that were often arbitrary and capricious, and sometimes baffling  she allowed hardware stores to stay open, but roped off shelves of gardening supplies; Michiganians could go fishing in a canoe, but not in a motorboat, etc.

While she demanded unquestioning compliance with her orders, she often violated them herself.

Coinciding with overextended coronavirus policies, the editorial board suggested Whitmer’s administration cost the state a critical business deal.

“Michigan was unprepared to respond to economic opportunity coming out of the pandemic. Ford Motor Co., its quintessential hometown business, took its $11 billion investment in electric vehicle facilities to Kentucky and Tennessee,” it wrote.

The editorial board ultimately deemed Dixon the “best choice” for the governor’s race, stating Dixon “would return Michigan to consensus governing.”

Whitmer currently has a slight edge in polling in the battleground gubernatorial contest, but Dixon has steadily closed what used to be a wide gap in support. The last few public polls reveal Dixon is now down by single digits and within the polls’ margins of error.

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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