Gubernatorial Candidates face off in first virtual debate

The first of two Gubernatorial debates took place this evening. It was hosted virtually by the Indiana Debate Commission. Everything from the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers’ pay, and constitutional carry were brought up during the hour-long debate.

Posted: Oct 21, 2020 12:00 AM

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLFI)- The first of two Gubernatorial debates took place this evening. It was hosted virtually by the Indiana Debate Commission.

Everything from the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers’ pay, and constitutional carry were brought up during the hour-long debate.
The candidates running for governor include Democratic nominee Dr. Woody Myers, Republican incumbent Governor Eric Holcomb, and Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater. Each took different stances on how the pandemic has been handled so far. Dr. Woody Myers doesn't think governor Holcomb has taken a strong enough stance on public safety.

"We need a real mask mandate in Indiana,” said Myers. “A mask mandate with a consequence for the small amount of Hoosiers who choose not to protect themselves or protect others."

However, Rainwater feels it should up to individuals to make their own decision on how to protect themselves from the virus.

"The reality is there is no one size fits all solution to anything and there is no if you do this you will be protected," said Rainwater

Holcomb defended his mask mandate saying it sends the right message to Hoosiers.

"Our individual liberties need to be guarded,” stated Governor Holcomb. “When that liberty or those actions start to infringe on someone else we need to take a look at public safety."

Another topic of discussion that divided the candidates was constitutional carry, which refers to be able to carry a gun without a permit. A stance on the second amendment Donald Rainwater supports.

"I absolutely support constitutional carry in the state of Indiana and I will work with the general assembly to make sure we get constitutional carry passed in 2021," said Rainwater.

Governor Eric Holcomb is worried a policy like this would make policing more difficult.

"We will continue to cherish the second amendment but I don't want to do anything that would put law enforcement in a more dangerous situation," said Governor Holcomb.

Candidate Myers took a stronger stance on the topic by not supporting it at all.

"The second amendment is going to survive just fine without more individuals carrying more weapons around brandishing them and scaring members of the public,” added Myers. “I just don't support it."

As for the topic of teachers pay Holcomb says, it has and still is a priority of his administration.

"We allocate over 50 percent of our total revenue our state budget to education now that doesn't mean that we are there yet," said Holcomb.

Candidate Myers says more needs to be done.

"Indiana can raise teachers’ salaries by prioritizing education in the next budget and I will do so as your next governor," said Myers.

As for Rainwater, he feels politics needs to be taken out of the process.

"We need to get control back to the parents the teachers and the classroom,” said Rainwater. “The local school boards and school districts will then be able to take the money that is allocated for education instead of it being spent on big bureaucracy."

Several other topics were covered during the debate as well. To watch the debate in its entirety click here. The next gubernatorial debate is scheduled for Tuesday, October 27th.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 350970

Reported Deaths: 5973
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion47763893
Lake30007480
Allen20256333
Elkhart18510245
St. Joseph18319243
Hamilton14971181
Vanderburgh10862134
Tippecanoe991133
Porter915392
Johnson7484177
Hendricks7143163
Vigo6580105
Monroe591453
Madison5732125
Clark564884
Delaware5434108
LaPorte5171104
Kosciusko501846
Howard400578
Bartholomew367565
Warrick360574
Wayne355192
Floyd348878
Marshall333949
Cass319132
Grant315652
Hancock307762
Noble284750
Boone274656
Henry272141
Dubois262934
Jackson255237
Morgan251845
Dearborn249733
Gibson217033
Shelby212861
Knox207722
DeKalb204438
Clinton202224
Lawrence200549
Wabash190623
Miami188118
Adams187424
Daviess174246
Montgomery167029
Jasper165015
Ripley164521
Fayette163837
Steuben163016
Harrison162024
LaGrange156533
Whitley156516
Huntington147211
White147024
Putnam142530
Wells142533
Decatur141846
Randolph139524
Clay138026
Jefferson137618
Posey133620
Scott124024
Greene117954
Jay113315
Sullivan109018
Jennings102415
Starke100828
Spencer9578
Fulton94219
Fountain9228
Perry88021
Washington8789
Franklin79528
Carroll79313
Orange74428
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Owen71410
Parke6796
Tipton66527
Blackford62715
Rush6278
Newton62113
Pike57421
Pulaski48020
Benton4423
Brown3995
Martin3896
Crawford3421
Union2972
Switzerland2765
Warren2763
Ohio2477
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