Gubernatorial Candidates Face Off at Centre College

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

There's only nine days left until the November election and both candidates for governor are sounding off on the big issues. Kentucky's gubernatorial candidates faced off Sunday night in a debate at Centre College in Danville.

From casino gambling and education, to illegal immigrants, the two candidates covered all the big issues for the election.

Representatives from various news stations, including our own Gene Birk, were on hand to ask the candidates questions for the upcoming election.

Casino gambling was one of the first issues Republican Ernie Fletcher and Democrat Steve Beshear tackled.

"The issue is it will not provide the financial promises that are made--it hasn't in any other state. Indiana eventually had to end up raising the taxes and sales taxes. It never delivers the revenue because it takes it out of the economy and business," Governor Ernie Fletcher explained.

"Overwhelmingly, over 80 to 85-percent of people in Kentucky want to vote on this issue whether they're for it or against it. They want to have the right to vote and that's what I want to do. I want to put it on the ballot and let people vote on it," Steve Beshear responded.

The two candidates both said, however, there are bigger issues defining this campaign.

"The most important issue in this state is the education of our children. We have to give our kids a world class education if they're going to compete in this world of ours and we're not quite there in Kentucky," Beshear noted.

"I think one of the most important issues we have is making sure health care is affordable and available for all Kentuckians. We've layed a great groundwork for that. We've already reformed Medicaid, our employee health care system," Fletcher added.

One big issue brought up, was how to combat illegal immigration. This was where the debate got heated.

"Unlike the current administration, I know what illegal means. It means illegal. We need to enforce our laws," Beshear said.

"Well, I think you see a substantial difference between my opponent. He says lets take a laissez-faire approach and if the federal government won't do anything about it, he won't do anything about it," Fletcher explained.

"I'm gonna start on it the first day I'm governor. I'm not going to discover this issue two weeks before the election like Ernie has," Beshear assured.

However, the governor maintained he's already helped with this growing issue.

"We started by deploying troops, our National Guard troops, to secure our borders. When we were asked to do that, I was one of the few states that actually did that. We deployed 1100 National Guard troops," Governor Fletcher said.

Voters will soon weigh in on this issue and others on November 6 as they select Kentucky's governor.

The debate also covered more issues such as health care, smoking bans, jobs and industry, and party affiliation.


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