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Brian Sandoval, Rory Reid trade jabs in Las Vegas debate


Justin M. Bowen

Nevada gubernatorial candidates Rory Reid (left) and Brian Sandoval meet after finishing their debate at the PBS building in Las Vegas Thursday, October 7, 2010.

Reid-Sandoval Debate

Nevada gubernatorial candidates Rory Reid (left) and Brian Sandoval meet after finishing their debate at the PBS building in Las Vegas Thursday, October 7, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Sun Coverage

7:09 p.m.

The debate ended with observers concluding there was "no knock-out blow."

Eric Herzik, professor of political science at University of Nevada, Reno, said, "that's bad for Rory Reid. He needed one."

The candidates stuck close to the positions they've been reiterating during the campaign -- no new taxes, conservative education reforms, Reid emphasizing education, Sandoval criticizing Reid's budget plan.

6:52 p.m.

On health care, Sandoval reiterated his support for repealing the federal health care law and states' lawsuits -- including Nevada's -- opposing it.

Reid called the lawsuit "politically motivated."

6:44 p.m.

On Arizona's high-profile immigration law, Sandoval said he supports the law, but after talking to law enforcement officials in Nevada, he said they said the state doesn't need the law.Sandoval said he would consider a bill though if presented to him as governor.

Reid, who has come out against the law in the past, said Nevada needs "comprehensive immigration reform."

6:42 p.m.

On teaching, Fox said both Reid and Sandoval want to make it easier for teachers to be fired. Fox asked the candidates what they would say to a teacher who is considering moving here.

Reid said he has a plan to reform Nevada's schools, giving teachers, principals and parents more autonomy to change schools.

Sandoval said teachers would be rewarded if their students show improvement.

Sandoval said "Vouchers are for everybody, not just the elite." Reid said, "We'll never have a first-rate economy if we have second-rate schools."

Reid accused Sandoval of wanting to cut school funding by $500 million.

6:29 p.m.

Twenty-five minutes in, we have daylight in the race.

Fox went through a list of possible tax increases, asking the candidates if they would consider them. Sales tax on services? Mining? Cigarette and alcohol? Room tax? No, and no. Both said they wouldn't consider them in their four years in office.

When Fox asked about a lottery, Sandoval said no. Reid said, "I'd consider it."

6:24 p.m.

PBS host Mitch Fox seems a bit frustrated with the candor of the candidates.

After asking if either candidate had a budget that would lay off teachers, he followed up, asking for a yes or no.

Sandoval said, "My plan does not include any teacher layoffs." He said Reid would cut $200 million in K-12 education through furloughs. "So what is it, do you hold education harmless, or remove $200 million from the education budget?"

Fox said, "I'll take that as a maybe."

Rory Reid said, "My plan would not spend any less money than we spent in the last fiscal year on education." That would indeed include spending reductions through furloughs.

6:15 p.m.

Gubernatorial candidates Brian Sandoval and Rory Reid are debating tonight in Las Vegas.

Reid opened the debate tonight emphasizing his theme of being a "strong and experienced leader to get it done." He said he's balanced budgets, stood up to special interests and offered a detailed budget plan.

"Brian seems like a nice person, I'm concerned whether he's his own person," Reid said. "If he does not have the strength to stand up for them, how would he stand up for you."

Sandoval responded, saying Reid "has spent $3 million lying about my record, not a single dollar talking about his own."

He said Reid is telling higher education and K-12 officials he won't cut their budgets and telling the public he won't raise its taxes.

"If you're telling everybody what they want to hear, you're lying to somebody," he said.

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