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Gubernatorial candidates spar at first debate

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

The debate featured questions from Hoosier voters on topics ranging from education, college affordability, the Affordable Care Act and the role of unions. 

GOP hopeful 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.

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

Throughout the campaign, Pence hasn’t engaged with Gregg on the Democrat’s frequent attacks.  But Wednesday, 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,” Pence said.

Libertarian Boneham said 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,” Boneham said.  “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.

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