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Politics

Candidates Clash in Gubernatorial Debate

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/candidates_788.mp3

The leading candidates for governor met for their first televised debate last night at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. KSMU's Missy Shelton was there and files this report.

BEFORE THE DEBATE, ABOUT 60 SUPPORTERS OF REPUBLICAN MATT BLUNT AND ABOUT 60 SUPPORTERS OF DEMOCRAT CLAIRE MC-CASKILL CLASHED IN A PARK NEAR LIBERTY MEMORIAL, WAVING SIGNS IN EACH OTHER'S FACES AND CHANTING.

LATER, THE CANDIDATES, REPUBLICAN MATT BLUNT AND DEMOCRAT CLAIRE MC-CASKILL CLASHED INSIDE THE LIBERTY MEMORIAL MUSEU DURING THE HOUR-LONG DEBATE.

THE QUESTIONS CAME FROM A PANEL OF FOUR KANSAS CITY JOURNALISTS AND COVERED A RANGE OF ISSUES--FROM PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE TO EDUCATION FUNDING.

BESIDES TAKING QUESTIONS FROM THE PANEL, THE CANDIDATES ALSO TOOK QUESTIONS FROM EACH OTHER.

MATT BLUNT ASKED CLAIRE MC-CASKILL ABOUT AN ADVERTISEMENT SHE RAN IN A PREVIOUS CAMPAIGN.

WHEN IT WAS MC-CASKILL'S TURN, THIS IS THE QUESTION SHE WANTED MATT BLUNT TO ANSWER.

ONE OF THE QUESTIONS THAT CAME FROM A PANELIST DEALT WITH THE COST OF GOING TO COLLEGE.

MANY SCHOOLS IN THE STATE HAVE RAISED TUITION IN RESPONSE TO FEWER DOLLARS FROM THE STATE.

MC-CASKILL SAID SHE'D MAKE CAMPUS ADMINISTRATORS MORE ACCOUNTABLE IF SHE'S ELECTED GOVERNOR.

MC-CASKILL WENT ON TO SAY THAT MATT BLUNT WANTS TO GIVE LAWMAKERS CONTROL OVER TUITION INCREASES.

WHEN IT WAS HIS TURN TO SPEAK, BLUNT EXPLAINED HIS POSITION.

BESIDES TUITION, THE CANDIDATES ALSO DISCUSSED ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE.

THEY WERE EACH ASKED IF THEY HAD EVER BEEN WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE...BLUNT SAID NO...MC-CASKILL SAID SHE WAS WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE WHEN SHE WAS WORKING AS A WAITRESS WHILE ATTENDING LAW SCHOOL.

MC-CASKILL SAID HEALTHCARE ACCESS IS AN ISSUE SHE'LL TAKE ON IF ELECTED GOVERNOR.

MATT BLUNT SAID GOVERNMENT SHOULD PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC CLIMATE THAT WILL BRING DOWN THE COST OF HEALTH INSURANCE.

AS SOON AS THE DEBATE ENDED, BOTH SIDES DECLARED VICTORY.

THE CANDIDATES HAVE ONE MORE TELEVISED DEBATE...THAT'S THIS FRIDAY EVENING AT 7.