Candidates attack absent governor during local debate
PADUCAH — Two of Kentucky's three gubernatorial candidates took shots at the sitting governor in a debate Thursday in Paducah.
Governor Steve Beshear didn't participate in the forum, but his empty podium was the focal point of discussion, with both independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith and Republican State Senate President David Williams calling on him to defend his record.
"Governor Beshear wouldn't show up," Williams said. "He doesn't acknowledge the pension system is broken, won't do anything about workers comp, unemployment insurance or the tax structure. And while we languish away, Tennessee and Texas and the other states (are) creating the jobs, we did nothing."
Galbraith also singled out the governor for scorn but blamed the two-party system as well.
"We need vision and leadership here and Mr. Beshear has been unable to provide us with any, both in the past and in the present day situation," he said. "Ladies and gentleman, the parties are the problem. The parties are the problem. The partisanship has absolutely ground us to a halt."
Local 6 reporter Todd Faulkner and others from around the state questioned the two candidates during the one-hour debate.
The event, held at the Julian Carroll Convention Center, was not open to the public. The head moderator was former Paducah Sun reporter Bill Bartleman.