LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Voters had the opportunity to hear Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Republican candidate Tudor Dixon make their case Thursday night ahead of the November election.

The candidates faced off in Grand Rapids and heard questions from voters on a range of issues, but abortion access, taxes and inflation took center stage, with a proposal to enshrine abortion rights in the Michigan constitution.

Both candidates were asked to make their stances clear.

“We know that our fundamental rights are very much at risk right now. I am fighting for our right to choose. My lawsuit would have kept the law as it is,” Whitmer said.

As abortion access stands at the forefront of this year’s election, candidates did not mince words on their position.

Both say they would respect the results of Prop 3, which would add a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion and other reproductive health care.

“I am pro-life with exceptions for the life of the mother. But I understand that this is going to be decided by the people of the state of Michigan or by a judge,” Dixon said.

The candidates also heard from concerned students and parents as safety in schools, gun regulations and policing came up throughout the debate. Governor Gretchen Whitmer pressed for safe storage, more background checks and red flag laws.

“As a mom, I’m furious. I’m angry that in this country and only in this country the number one killer of children is gun violence. As governors, we need to act,” said Whitmer.

Challenger Tudor Dixon shared her plan to use federal funding to tighten school security.

“We really need to take that money and focus on how to keep our kids safe inside of those buildings,” Dixon said.

From inflation to jobs, economics also shared the stage. Whitmer said she favors several ways to curb taxes on average Michiganders.

“Because of the upgrade to our credit rating and the money we’ve put in the raining day fund, we could repeal the retirement tax which I do support. We could triple the earn income tax credit which I also support and a pause on the gas tax,” Whitmer said.

Dixon pressed for Line 5 and says a shutdown would lead to higher costs.

“She’s still trying to shut down Line 5 today, which would raise the cost to heat your home. It would raise the price to fly out of Detroit in a time we need economic development. It would raise the cost to put gas in your car,” Dixon said.

Thursday’s debate comes as a new poll out today surveyed 600 likely Democrats, Republicans and independent voters. Whitmer leads with 49%, with 38% of likely voters supporting Dixon.

Around 9% of voters said they’re undecided.