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Final Kentucky gubernatorial debate offers more parrying over policy, but few surprises

Associated Press

Kentuckians saw the final scheduled debate between Gov. Andy Beshear and challenger Daniel Cameron Tuesday night. Both the topics – and the answers – sounded familiar to anyone who’s been keeping up with the race.

Over the hour-long debate, candidates were quizzed on the economy, school choice, abortion, crime, and other issues that have become common themes throughout the campaign.

And again the contenders traded accusations over their answers – and whether either was avoiding giving specifics.

Regarding the state's income tax, Cameron said, "My plan is to eliminate Kentucky's income tax. I'm going to do it smart and thoughtfully, along with the members of our legislature."

Pushed on whether he would speed up the process adopted by the General Assembly that set up limits on when the income tax can be lowered, the attorney general stopped short of answering in the affirmative, repeating that he would go about it “thoughtfully.”

Beshear, who has pushed for reductions in sales taxes, broke with his party to sign a GOP-backed bill that cut income taxes – but cautiously, saying there need to be guardrails in place to make sure the state doesn’t create a hole in the budget.

"I do want to continue to make those cuts, but we've got to wisely and carefully, not rashly," he said.

Republicans, meanwhile, pointed to that issue as an example of the governor taking credit for actions driven by the GOP-led legislature.

With Tuesday’s debate in the books, it’s now up to Kentuckians to decide in the remaining days before November 7th who deserves their vote.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.