WATCH LIVE: Michigan 3rd Congressional District debate

Tune in to the debate now on WOOD TV8 or stream it live on woodtv.com.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District’s seat truly up for grabs for the first time in years, the race is one of the most closely watched in the country.

Tonight in a debate at WOOD TV8’s studio, candidates Peter Meijer, a Republican, and Hillary Scholten, a Democrat, will try to prove they are the best person to represent West Michigan in Congress.

The candidates are facing questions about the coronavirus pandemic, race and policing, the U.S. Supreme Court, partisan gridlock and more. Some of the questions were submitted by the West Michigan residents who the winner will serve in Congress.

RACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

This year, protests have been held around the country calling for racial equity, particularly in policing. Both candidates recognized the need for programs to help people of color, with Meijer saying he wanted to fight mass incarceration and improve education for all. He also promoted the Trump administration’s opportunity zone legislation for investment in underserved areas.

Scholten cited her career as a social working in explaining her understanding of the issue. She said health care is key in combating inequities. She also said that “the message from the top matters,” saying leaders must not seed division.

THE DISTRICT

Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District includes the counties of Kent, Ionia, Barry and Calhoun, as well as a portion of Montcalm County. Rep. Justin Amash, an independent who has held the seat for a decade, is not seeking re-election this time around.

The general election is Nov. 3, but absentee ballots are already being submitted.

Online:

Hillary Scholten’s campaign website: hillaryscholten.com

Peter Meijer’s campaign website: votemeijer.com