Voters had their first chance Tuesday to see Washington's governor and attorney general hopefuls go head to head in a pair of debates sponsored by AWB and Greater Spokane Incorporated.
The first debate, between attorney general candidates Reagan Dunn, a Republican King County Councilman, and Bob Ferguson, a Democrat on the King County Council, was regarded by reporters as a lively contest.
Dunn emphasized his experience as a prosecutor, saying he was the only candidate with experience prosecuting criminals. Ferguson said Dunn frequently missed votes on the King County Council.
In the second debate of the day, Inslee and McKenna answered questions on everything from education and transportation to taxes and jobs.
The candidates agreed that more money should be spent on education, and they agreed that taxes shouldn't be raised to fund the increased spending.
But they disagreed on many other issues, including the federal health care law and whether the Legislature should need a two-thirds supermajority to raise taxes.
As for the supermajority -- which became law after voters approved an AWB-backed initiative in 2010 -- Inslee called it a "distortion of a democratic principle" that one person should have one vote.
"It's good to have a strong contrast between the opponents," McKenna responded, adding, "we clearly have one here."
The one-hour debates were held at the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane and moderated by Austin Jenkins, Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network.
They were shown live on TVW and can be viewed in their entirety on TVW's website.