Democratic candidates for governor square off in 'The Kentucky Debate'

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As Kentucky's Democratic primary for governor enters a feistier phase, all four candidates squared off Wednesday in their final statewide debate before voters go to the polls.

WKYT and its eight Gray Television sister stations serving Kentucky sponsored the first in a series of forums called "The Kentucky Debate" along with the University of Kentucky Student Government Association and the League of Women Voters of Kentucky.

The May 15 debate came after former state auditor Adam Edelen went on the attack against rival Andy Beshear who is the current Kentucky attorney general.

Beshear's campaign responded with its own ads calling the attacks shameful and false, saying they resemble something out of the GOP playbook.

A third prominent Democrat in the race - House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins - has stayed out of the fray. Frequent candidate Geoff Young of Lexington is also in the Democratic race.

On the Republican side, Gov. Matt Bevin is being challenged by State Rep. Robert Goforth, William Woods and Ike Lawrence. Because Bevin and Goforth declined invitations also to debate, a similar debate for Republican candidates was canceled.

The state primaries are set for May 21. The two winners will be invited to "The Kentucky Debate" scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 15.