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July 1, 2015

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GOP candidates display conservative credentials at debate

Sun Coverage

Top Nevada Republican candidates taking aim at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid largely agreed on the issues Friday night during a debate sponsored by a tea party-affiliated group.

GOP front-runners Sue Lowden, Danny Tarkanian and Sharron Angle joined three other candidates in pledging to fight for tax cuts and less spending and against the health care reform law if elected.

One of the few clashes occurred when Tarkanian challenged Lowden's claim that she had fought pork projects when she was a state senator.

"Her record is replete with pork," Tarkanian said.

"I don't know what he's talking about. I voted against pork," she replied.

Lowden, a former state GOP chairwoman, enjoys a double-digit lead in the polls over both Tarkanian and Angle. All three candidates currently lead Reid in the polls.

Gov. Jim Gibbons, his top challenger Brian Sandoval and Mike Montandon also shared mostly similar views on the issues during their debate.

One of the few clashes occurred when Sandoval criticized Gibbons for submitting a budget earlier this year containing over $200 million in tax increases.

Gibbons countered with criticism of Sandoval's own budget for dealing with the state's most recent budget shortfall.

"Brian Sandoval, you were the first to submit a budget that didn't work, that did not balance and had the wrong numbers," Gibbons said.

Sandoval, a former federal judge, currently leads the first-term governor in the polls.

About 400 people turned out for the event that was sponsored by Action is Brewing, which is aligned with the tea party movement.

Candidates fielded questions from conservative bloggers and were allowed to address each other.

Candidates in both races also supported the Arizona bill signed into law Friday that supporters said would take handcuffs off police in dealing with illegal immigration in the state.

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