With just a little more than two weeks until election day, Sunday night two of Kentucky's three candidates for governor debated the issues on the UK campus.
The candidates tackled issues from education to clean energy, but as Republican David Williams and Independent Gatewood Galbraith answered questions, perhaps the most common topic was the man who wasn't there. "We have a governor that has no plan," Williams said, "He has no agenda. He has no plan for the future, and he's trying to spend his 11 million bucks and avoid confrontation and avoid taking any positions and come out with little silly slogans. This is serious business that we're involved in here."
The two men on stage had few disagreements with each other. "I want to give credit to David Williams," Galbraith told the crowd, "because he's treated me with civility and respect no matter what kind of a ... cranky old man the media's tried to portray him as."
As in previous encounters, jobs and the economy received much of the candidates' attention. "I want to do away with the income tax, go to a consumption tax," Williams said, "I want to make other changes in our tax code. I want to do something about our unemployment insurance debacle that we have in the state."
"Use government to uplift, enlighten, and educate, and ennoble the population instead of being a burden on them and taxing them and breaking them down," Galbraith said, "It's time for a whole new outlook here in the state of Kentucky, folks and in America, and it might as well be that Kentucky leads the damn parade."
As the race enters its final days, the student-government-sponsored debate drew an engaged crowd as many submitted questions to the candidates and thanked them for including UK in the campaign.
Governor Beshear has spent the last few days of the campaign trail on a statewide bus tour. That continues tomorrow in western Kentucky with stops including Owensboro, Henderson, and Dawson Springs.