LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Sparks flew on stage at the gubernatorial debate at the Singletary Center in Lexington on Tuesday night.
In the debate, aired on WKYT, Republican Governor Matt Bevin faced off against Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.
Minutes into the debate, things got heated.
“You love public education so much that your kids go to private school is that right,” asked Bevin.
“You're attacking my kids now,” responded Beshear.
“No I'm not, I'm saying you're a fraud,” said Bevin.
Education and pensions were two hot topics right off the bat.
Beshear accused Bevin of trying to illegally slash pensions, while Bevin blamed past governors, including Andy's father Steve Beshear, for not properly funding pensions for years.
“I'm the only governor in the history of this state to fully fund it and the only way to save the system is to structurally change it for future employees and to make sure that the state requires future legislators to fund it,” said Bevin.
“Now this governor's solution is to push those costs onto cities and counties that are responding by trying to raise local taxes," said Beshear. "I believe that we have to create new additional revenue dedicated solely to our pension systems and it starts with expanded gaming where we could realize up to $550 million a year."
The candidates then touched on the topics of medical marijuana, jobs, and health care.
“My thoughts, as it relates to expanded Medicaid, is to ensure that Medicaid is available to those who need it, and the medically frail, and women with children, and disabled, and that people like me aren't taking from them,” said Bevin.
“She [a fast-food worker he met in Harlan County] is working every single day out of choice and she's on expanded Medicaid. Governor Bevin's plan would rip 95,000 people off healthcare that have it for the very first time and I think that's wrong,” said Beshear.
Before leaving, both spoke with reporters, and both had plenty to say about the heated exchange involving the schooling of Beshear's kids.
“I'm not surprised that this governor my kids tonight because he's been attacking all of the commonwealth's children through his policies the last four years,” said Beshear.
“I was talking about a decision that he made that involved them, about a topic that he purports to be on the exact opposite side of," said Bevin. "Haven't you made the same decision with your children? I've had children in public school, children in private school and children who were homeschooled. Because parents should have a choice."
Both say they will fight for Kentuckians. In less than a month, the voters will decide.