LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — With a little over a week to go until election day, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic challenger Andy Beshear are making their final pitches to voters.
On Saturday night, the candidates went head-to-head in an, at times, contentious debate in Louisville.
The event, hosted by WLKY News, touched on a number of critical issues like public education, healthcare, and the struggling pension system, and there were moments where the back-and-forth grew personal.
Earlier in October during a debate in Lexington, Bevin invoked Beshear's children and the fact that they go to private school, essentially suggesting that Beshear is a hypocrite when it comes to his promotion of public education.
Beshear perceived it as an attack on his kids, but Bevin insisted it wasn't.
On Saturday night it was deja-vu.
Bevin claimed Beshear doesn't trust public schools because his kids go to private school. Beshear responded by characterizing Bevin as a bully.
When it came to the candidates' views on the pension system, Beshear again pushed his proposal to fund the floundering system with expanding casino gambling. He claims Kentucky has lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars. Bevin said his opponent is doing a disservice to voters.
"Who do you think is in these casinos that you keep promising—that you'll never be able to deliver on? It's a whole lot of people that are one paycheck away from exactly what you described. The reality is that is one of the cruelest, regressive thing you could do to this stat; trying to force something that we clearly don't want, what our legislature doesn't want, that we haven't wanted in years. And this 550 million dollar figure simply isn't true," said Bevin.
"I'll tell you who's in the casinos right now: it's Kentuckians. You go right across the river to where we are right now and there's a casino and you walk through the parking lot and virtually every license plates is from a Kentuckian. And they are spending their entertainment dollars there and Indiana is taking a cut to pay for its roads, to possibly put toward its pensions, to provide healthcare for folks, to fund public education. This is a state run by the vice president previously, who's coming in to campaign for this governor. We need expanded gaming right here in Kentucky," said Beshear.
Another gubernatorial debate will be held on Monday in Lexington. Then in northern Kentucky on Tuesday.