By Associated Press • 

Brown, Pierce meet in final gubernatorial debate


PORTLAND — Gov. Kate Brown and GOP challenger Bud Pierce attempted to draw contrasts with one another in their last pitch to voters on a debate stage Thursday night.

Brown touted her 25 years of elected service during the event in Portland, arguing that's why voters should choose her Nov. 8, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

She spoke of a minimum wage increase passed on her watch and said she's made a career out of helping and defending domestic violence victims.

But Pierce, a Salem oncologist, said Brown's record over more than two decades is proof that it's time to elect “people who can solve the problems that need to be solved.”

Both candidates want to fill the final two years of the term John Kitzhaber would have served if he hadn't resigned in February 2015 amid allegations and investigation of influence-peddling.

Brown said government should spend more on early childhood education, foster care and homelessness and said the state should consider a carbon tax to confront climate change.

She said a budget plan unveiled by Pierce, which would look to save money by finding efficiencies in government operations, “denies basic reality.”

“I've seen recipes longer than that,” she said.

Pierce repeatedly argued for reductions in regulations, saying land-use restrictions in places such as Burns have hampered growth.

Pierce also said transportation projects that could reduce congestion vehicle idling times would accomplish more than a carbon tax.

The candidates sparred again over Measure 97, would impose a tax on corporations whose annual sales in Oregon exceed $25 million. The measure would raise an estimated $3 billion a year if approved.

Brown said the measure would provide steady revenue for education, the Oregon Health Plan and long-term health care for seniors.

Pierce said the measure would hurt private-sector jobs and cost families.


Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

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