LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The candidates didn't break a lot of new ground in Wednesday's Kentucky Sports Radio debate, but it was a chance for them to get in front of a big viewing and listening audience. All three candidates -- Matt Bevin (R), Jack Conway (D), and Drew Curtis (I) -- said this was a chance to reach people who might not otherwise be paying attention.
Kentucky sports radio host Matt moderated the hour-long gubernatorial debate, which covered a variety of topics, from jobs and healthcare to expanded gaming and Kim Davis. The debate was held at the iHeartMedia studios in Lexington.
The candidates talked about a lot of familiar issues like same-sex marriage, Kentucky's pension shortfall and whether they supported casino gambling. Jones asked the candidates weather governor Steve Beshear had been a good governor. Jack Conway said Beshear had been a good govenror. Drew Curtis said Beshear had done what he could after being dealt a bad hand. And Bevin said Beshear was a good man, but a bad a governor.
One of the first questions Jones asked the candidates was who would get their vote for president. Curtis said he would vote for Donald Trump; Conway said he would vote for the Democratic nominee and Matt Bevin said he would vote for Ben Carson; not Sen. Rand Paul, who is heading to Frankfort Saturday for a rally.
Asked to identify the most important issues, Bevin said he wanted to make sure people got second chances. He said that he will "lead the charge to make sure we have voter registration rights." Conway touted his fiscal responsibility and said that was something unique that he would bring to Frankfort. And Curtis said he wanted to change the way they operate in the legislature. He said tax reform would be among the issues he'd tackle.
The debate was civil for the most part. After-the-fact the candidate said they enjoyed the opportunity.
"People who normally watch debates are political in nature for the most part," Curtis said. "You don't really get that many chances to reach a general public that is sent politically minded so this is probably the only venue for that and that's why it's so important."
Jack Conway said: "I do think he is tapped into something here and he has reached the UK sports fan who is very proud of their school and I think it's an audience that I was very pleased to be able to reach today and hopefully they heard something they like."
And Matt Bevin said Jones has "done a good job of creating an amazing network of people who are engaged people who are involved in social media people who talk and so I think this is a fantastic avenue through which to wait reach some of those very same voters."