GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The only female candidate on the GOP primary ticket, Tudor Dixon, says her experience as a steel industry executive and a conservative media host make her the right choice for the job.
After signature issues saw the top two candidates left off the ballot, Dixon soared to the top of the polls and hasn’t moved much since.
Like many of her fellow candidates, Dixon made the decision to run in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I started to talk to local business owners that I knew, because when you have a small business you know people, and they were saying man, it’s really bad,” she said. “But it’s really bad overall, it’s not just COVID. We’re really being crushed.”
Her experience as an executive at her father’s Muskegon steel foundry forged her acumen as a businesswoman and her desire to see Michigan businesses under fewer regulations.
“Have we gotten to the point where government is too big? And where can we slim down government to help business?” she said. “We have to look at how we can allow people to be prosperous while they’re going through the regulations and the licensing and all that. And how much licensing do we need?”
Dixon points to the time and expense of obtaining a barber’s license, and salons that have approval to style but not wash hair as examples. She also pointed to cases of gas station or party store owners who have employees sell to minors only to see all of their businesses under the same penalty.
After her time in the steel industry, Dixon and her husband started Lumen News, a pro-America and pro-Constitution morning news program for middle and high school students. After seeing some success with Lumen, Dixon was approached by a Denver-based conservative media company and soon found herself on-camera as a host.
“Which was really great preparation for where we are now,” she said. “The thing that I learned when I was on the air everyday was, I better know every issue inside and out. I better really be able to study this and understand and listen to what people are saying.”
Dixon, a mother of four and breast cancer survivor, says her top issue is education. She’s staunchly against the teaching of Critical Race Theory and gender studies and wants more parental choice in curriculum. On day one, Dixon said she’d sign stalled legislation granting parents more say over what their kids learn.
Tangibly, she said she’d also like to see all kindergarteners entering school in 2022 to be proficient readers by the time Dixon hypothetically leaves office four years later.
Dixon has also been the subject of attacks from her fellow candidates – both in on-air advertisements and on the debate stages. Her endorsements by the Police Officer’s Association, Right to Life Michigan and the powerful DeVos family have earned her the label of the ‘establishment’ candidate by the others.
“The polls are showing it’s too late for them to go back and change the way they ran their campaigns,” said Dixon, “and it seems like this is a case of nerves and jealousy and ‘I’m just going to lash out at the person who’s done the work and is at the top.’”
“This is a turning point for the state,” she continued. “We either bring it back on track or we could potentially see a state in disrepair like we’ve never seen before.”
The Michigan primary election is on Tuesday, August 2. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
To find your polling place or get other voter information, click here.