Gubernatorial Candidates in Debate Spotlight

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This year's first gubernatorial debate from the Indiana Debate Commission was held at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. This year's first gubernatorial debate from the Indiana Debate Commission was held at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis.

The first debate for Indiana's three top candidates for governor is now in the books. Democrat John Gregg, Libertarian Rex Bell and Republican Eric Holcomb took to the stage at Lawrence North High School and discussed some of the top education issues facing Hoosiers, including addressing a looming teacher shortage, funding for post-secondary education and wages. Each candidate had an opportunity to bring up a topic of their choosing.

The first of three debates dealt with questions from area students and University of Indianapolis Assistant Professor of Political Science Laura Albright.

Bell went first and focused on reducing government intervention, a theme he came back to several times throughout the one-hour event. "Something that we're going to see in this election -- we're going to see a lot of solutions that basically amount to trying to get the government to fix something that the government fouled up in the first place. We're going to see a lot of that in education, especially. We offer a solution of turning control back over to the parents, back over to the teachers, back over to the local schools," Bell said.

Holcomb was next and he talked about building on accomplishments from the last two administrations. He has served in leadership positions with the Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence administrations, including his current role as lieutenant governor. Holcomb listed off a number of key economic statistics and said "we're on the right path and I don't just cite those figures to throw them out at you, I cite them to illustrate what a good position this state's in, so that we can make record investments into infrastructure, so that we can make record investments into education. So many states are in the opposite position and we're competing against them."

Gregg discussed the importance of collaborating with different perspectives. He talked about his previous position as Indiana Speaker of the House where he says he worked toward bipartisan support on legislation, his time as president of Vincennes University and opportunities he's had in the private sector. "I've worked in small business, I've helped create jobs, I've worked for two Fortune 500 companies in the energy field. I understand complex bureaucracies," Gregg said. He added "I know what it takes to bring people together to take the best ideas from Democrats, Republicans and Independents and move forward."

The next debate will be October 3 at Ransburg Auditorium on the UIndy campus.

View the complete debate from the Indiana Debate Commission:

Democrat John Gregg discussed his experience and the importance of collaboration.
Republican Eric Holcomb was next and he talked about building on accomplishments from the last two administrations.
Libertarian Rex Bell went first and focused on reducing government involvement.
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