Cox, fellow gubernatorial hopefuls to debate at policy conference

Chris Rizo May 28, 2009, 11:17am

Mike Cox (R)

LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline)-Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and other candidates for governor will meet tonight for their first debate in the 2010 race to succeed Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is barred by term limits from seeking a third term.

In all, five gubernatorial hopefuls will meet at the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference, a three-day conference at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

The attorney general and fellow Republicans Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, state Sen. Tom George and U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra will participate.

On the Democratic side state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith will take part in the event. Democratic Lt. Gov. John Cherry, who is also running for governor, has said he will not participate because the venue is not open to the public.

Cox, 47, announced this week that he will run. He has been a steadfast supporter of tax cuts to help revive the Wolverine State's ailing economy.

He has called for slashing Michigan's main business tax in half, and says lawmakers should repeal the $700 million income tax increase that took effect in 2007.

To pay for the tax cuts amid the state's budget woes, Cox said he would change pensions for new teachers and health insurance for state employees.

Cox, then a political newcomer, was elected attorney general in 2002, beating out Democrat Gary Peters. He became the first Republican state attorney general in nearly 50 years. In 2006, he won re-election.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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