With Governor Rick Snyder set to leave office, the Republican candidates who want to replace him are starting to line up.

On Monday night, Jan. 29 a town hall event was held for GOP candidates in Grand Rapids. Three candidates participated in the event including Lt. Governor Brian Calley, Saginaw-based Physician Jim Hines and State Senator Patrick Colbeck.

"Making that pre-K-12 education a priority, bringing back skilled trades and infusing information technology into education are necessary to meet the demands of these companies," says Calley.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley would focus on education to attract companies like Amazon, but Saginaw based physician Jim Hines says we need to stop college graduates from leaving the state.

"To attract people to stay in the state you have to give them a reason. That reason is a good paying job with benefits and great education, but it's not just the job that is going to attract a family here," says Hines.

State Senator Patrick Colbeck says the answer is a work study program.

"It's a partnership where the businesses get engaged with the schools and provide $7,000 per pupil per year in exchange for students who are willing to go off in the program," says Colbeck.

All three GOP candidates say they would take the PFAS situation very seriously but have differing approaches.

"Anywhere there is a military base or an airport we need to do a lot of testing," says Calley.

"We need to keep track of what businesses are putting in the water and we need more effort there," says Hines.

"It is a recognized contaminant and we need a measured response but we need to start with a better understanding of the health impacts," says Colbeck.

Attorney General Bill Schuette is also in the race on the GOP side. Schuette did not attend Monday's event.

As for the Democratic candidates, the Kent County Democrats will be hosting a forum for them next month in Grand Rapids.

The forum will be on Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. at Teamsters Local 406. The four candidates, Gretchen Whitmer, Shri Thanedar, Abdul El-Sayed and Bill Cobbs are expected to be there.

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