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Lansing – Bill Schuette, Brian Calley and other GOP gubernatorial primary candidates will participate in two televised debates in May and June, the Michigan Republican Party said Friday.

The GOP primary competitors have clashed over proposed debate schedules during the quickly combative race, and Calley’s campaign says he is still pushing for more.

But the events announced Friday — May 9 at WOOD-TV studios in Grand Rapids and June 28 at WDIV-TV in Detroit — will put Schuette and Calley on the air in the state’s two largest television markets.

State Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Canton Township and Saginaw obstetrician Jim Hines have also confirmed both debates, according to the Michigan GOP. They previously joined Calley at a series of town hall events that Schuette has not attended, including one in Oakland County.

“We are excited to get our Republican candidates in front of Michigan voters so that they learn what we already know: Our candidates are better for Michigan’s future than the Democrats,” spokeswoman Sarah Anderson said in a statement.

Calley, a Portland resident now serving as lieutenant governor, had called for seven primary debates but in March said he would be willing to participle in four televised debates proposed by the state party.

Schuette, the attorney general from Midland, had agreed to participate in two Republican Party debates, along with a third that will include Democratic candidates at the annual Mackinac Public Policy Conference in May.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates have been participating in a series of town hall-style events, but it’s not yet clear if they will agree to a television debate ahead of the Aug. 7 primary.

“So far, just about the only thing establishment politicians like Bill Schuette and Brian Calley have been able to agree on is that they’re not going to change the status quo in Lansing,” Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon said in a statement.

joosting@detroitnews.com

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