Bill Schuette

3 Democrats running for Michigan governor have 1st debate

The three Democrats running for Michigan governor met for their first televised debate Wednesday night, with two decrying corporate financial influence on state politics while a third — who accepts such campaign donations — refused to be pulled into the criticism while casting herself as an experienced, bipartisan problem-solver.

Former legislative leader Gretchen Whitmer, businessman Shri Thanedar and ex-Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed answered questions about how to address high auto insurance premiums, crumbling roads, education funding and other issues in the hourlong debate hosted by WOOD-TV and the Michigan Democratic Party.

El-Sayed, who is declining corporate...