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IN gubernatorial candidates spar during first debate

Mike Conroy
Associated Press

Gubernatorial candidates Mike Pence and John Gregg briefly launched attacks on each other’s records during Wednesday’s gubernatorial debate.  However, none of the candidates used the forum to say things they haven’t already said.

The debate featured questions from Hoosier voters on topics ranging from education, college affordability, the Affordable Care Act and the role of unions.  Republican Mike Pence, Democrat John Gregg and Libertarian Rupert Boneham all repeated ideas and positions they’ve been talking about throughout the campaign.

Gregg continued his attacks on Pence’s record in Congress, including what Gregg says is Pence’s failure to support the auto industry.

“But you’re talking about a roadmap to create jobs, yet your ideology has led to Indiana to losing hundreds and thousands of jobs.”

Throughout the campaign, Pence hasn’t engaged with Gregg on the Democrat’s frequent attacks.  But during the debate, Pence struck back and says Gregg’s record on fiscal integrity doesn’t match his rhetoric.

“For five of the six years that you led the Indiana state General Assembly, we ran deficits in the tens of millions of dollars.”

Libertarian Boneham says he represents real change from the status quo, talking about reducing the size of government, greater fiscal accountability and reforming the state’s tax structure.

“I am not the career politician.  I am not out to line my own pocket.  I am not out to get fame and fortune.  I’m out to empower Indiana, bring some common sense back and make Indiana strong.”

The three candidates will meet for two more debates in the coming weeks.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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