By Mike Kruzman /

An annual Livingston County GOP dinner will play host to the first debate between candidates seeking to take on Governor Gretchen Whitmer in fall.

This year’s Lincoln Day Dinner event from the Livingston County Republican Party will be held on Thursday, May 12th, at Crystal Gardens in Genoa Township. Instead of the traditional keynote speaker, the Party is partnering with the Michigan Information & Resource Service to hold the first gubernatorial primary debate for Republican candidates.

GOP candidates who have filed nominating petitions as of this coming April 19th and have legally qualified for the August primary ballot are allowed to participate.

So far, eight candidates have confirmed their attendance and participation. Those eight are: Mike Brown, James Craig, Tudor Dixon, Ryan Kelley, Michael Markey Jr., Ralph Rebandt, Kevin Rinke, and Garrett Soldano.

All conservatives and Republicans are invited to the event, with tickets costing $75 per person, or $750 for a reserved table for ten.

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