Few Punches Thrown in First Gubernatorial Debate
Candidates skirmish over Pence's congressional record, state finances
L to R: Mike Pence, Rupert Boneham, John Gregg at Wednesday's gubernatorial debate. (Photos courtesy WFYI)
The three candidates for governor stuck to generalities in Zionsville, in their first of three debates.
Republican Mike Pence and Democrat John Gregg talked up their experience and principles, but offered few details on the plans they've rolled out during the campaign. Pence repeated his proposal for an income-tax cut and a freeze on regulation.
Gregg emphasized his record of working with a Republican Senate as House speaker. He did offer one new idea, saying the state should look at a college tuition freeze.
Libertarian Rupert Boneham emphasized his nonpolitical background, and called for less emphasis on standardized tests and a repeal of the state's right-to-work law. Pence supported the law, saying it will create jobs, while Gregg predicted the law will lower wages but didn't explicitly call for its repeal.
Gregg went on the attack a couple of times, criticizing Pence for voting against the auto bailouts and labeling him a partisan attack dog in Congress. Pence mostly ignored him, but did jab Gregg for the state's deficits when Gregg was House speaker.
The candidates meet again next Wednesday in South Bend.