The Association of Washington Business sponsored its first gubernatorial debate in 1992. It was held at Semi-ah-moo Resort near Blaine and featured Republican state Attorney General Ken Eikenberry and Democrat Mike Lowry.
It was the first debate between the candidates and a news report said it highlighted their differences on health care, growth and the environment, schools and taxes.
Twenty years since the Eikenberry-Lowry contest, the AWB debate -- co-hosted this year with Greater Spokane, Inc. -- has become a tradition.
Here's a look back at the debates through the years:
1992: In the fall of 1992, Washington state was facing a $1 billion shortfall, The Seattle Times reported. Lowry said higher taxes might be necessary, while Eikenberry took a no-new-taxes pledge and spoke of reinventing government.
2000: Gov. Locke, seeking re-election, debated Republican challenger John Carlson. The debate, the first of three scheduled between the candidates, was shown live on TVW and broadcast on C-SPAN. AP writer Hunter George said Carlson launched a "brutal verbal assault" against Locke, who mostly stuck to his script.
2004: State Attorney General Chris Gregoire debated Dino Rossi, the former Republican state senator. The debate was the first of four between the candidates. It was shown on TVW, but not live. Gregoire and Rossi reportedly traded jabs over biotech and health insurance. "The debate was the first time voters have had a chance to compare the candidates side by side," reporter Andrew Garber wrote in The Seattle Times.
2008: Gov. Gregoire, seeking re-election and facing a familiar opponent, once again debated Rossi. It was the second debate of the year between the candidates and the only time since 1992 that AWB was not the host of the first gubernatorial debate.
On Tuesday, former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee and Republican state Attorney General Rob McKenna will square off in the first debate of the 2012 Washington gubernatorial campaign. Just prior to that debate, attorney general candidates Reagan Dunn and Bob Ferguson will engage in their innaugural debate, as well.