GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Business leaders and politicians gathered in Grand Rapids on Monday for the biennial West Michigan Policy Forum, which included remarks from republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

The conference was held at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and included speakers on topics ranging from Michigan’s fiscal health to preparing the state workforce for the future.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is the Republican candidate for governor, offered remarks during a morning session.

He touched on the upcoming election, saying he is closing the gap with his Democratic challenger, Gretchen Whitmer.

Schuette told the crowd he believes he will win the Nov. 6 general election with 52 percent of the vote. He also took jabs at his opponent’s support of taxes to fund projects such as road repairs.

“There’s nothing more permanent than a temporary tax, right?’’ he told the crowd. “That’s not how we should do it.’’

Organizers of the event say they extended an invitation to Whitmer weeks ago to attend, but she turned them down.

Whitmer press secretary Nicole Simmons issued a statement saying Whitmer was in Flint on Monday.

“The demands of a large statewide campaign unfortunately mean that Senator Whitmer cannot be everywhere at once,’’ the statement reads.

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