Bevin, Beshear attend forum in Paducah

Candidates hold Gubernatorial Debate in Paducah, Ky.

PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS/AP) - Two candidates in the Kentucky governor’s race participated in a forum on Thursday, October 3.

The two candidates answered questions from a panel.

They bickered on several issues during the hour-long debate that turned personal at times.

Beshear said that allowing expanded gambling would generate needed revenue to support the state’s underfunded public pension systems. Bevin replied that casino gambling is “fool’s gold” that doesn’t take into consideration the societal costs.

Both candidates expressed support for legalizing medical marijuana but differed on whether to tax it.

Beshear supports taxing medical marijuana, but Bevin said such a tax would be “cruel.”

The most heated part of the debate was when the two went back and forth about Beshear and Purdue pharma.

"Oh, this a conspiracy theory that his governor continues to put out there,” said Beshear. “I was not a part of settlement negotiations whatsoever in any way. I haven't made any decision as Attorney General related to the case other than to recommend that we use the proceeds to help fund treatment." "It is a complete dodge,” said Bevin. “The reality is this. The Attorney General is lying to people. He did profit from this which is why today he literally perjured himself because I'll tell you, I'd love him to say under oath that he did not personally profit from that settlement."

The debate wrapped up with the governor and his challenger's closing statements. "I don't want to just be your governor. I want to govern well, and we're going to govern well right here in western Kentucky,” said Beshear. "If you re-elect me, I will commit to you that I will fight for you like I would fight for my own family,” added Bevin.

They will debate again on October 15 at the University of Kentucky.

Governor Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear were at the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce Power in Partnership luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Julian Carroll Convention Center.

Those attending the forum were asked to follow these guidelines:

  • No campaign banners, brochures, buttons, pens or other campaign materials or promotion activities will be permitted by attendees
  • Supporters must be respectful and courteous. No unruly behavior will be allowed. Those who do not follow these rules will be asked to leave
  • The audience will be asked to remain silent during the forum and refrain from responding to any candidate’s answers or comments

Gov. Bevin is the Republican candidate and currently serving as the 62nd Governor of Kentucky.

Beshear is serving as the 50th Attorney General of Kentucky and is the Democratic nominee for Governor.

After weeks of exchanging attacks on the campaign trail, the Republican incumbent and Democratic attorney general will square off in the Nov. 5 election, one of only three races for governor this year.

In July, they clashed on education and health care policies at a forum at Kentucky Farm Bureau headquarters in Louisville. In August, they traded barbs during political speaking at the annual Fancy Farm picnic.

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.