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Utah Gubernatorial Debate Live Tonight

Utah Gubernatorial Debate Live Tonight

Posted - Oct. 25, 2004 at 4:35 p.m.



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Richard Piatt ReportingUndecided voters in the race for Utah Governor have an opportunity to listen to the candidates at length tonight. KSL 5 and KSL news radio 1160, along with the Deseret Morning News, will host a town hall meeting with the two candidates starting at 7 o'clock.

The event will be broadcast, on KSL TV and Radio in front of a live audience, at the Rose Wagner Theater. Bruce Lindsay will moderate this Town Hall debate, which will also be broadcast nationally on CSPAN.

This will be an opportunity for you to see the candidates respond to questions from the audience. The format will be similar to the second presidential debate, where the candidates will be sitting on stools, free to move about if they wish.

We expect questions about economic development, about education, abut the future of the state, and, plain and simple, why do they feel they're the best man for the job?

Their personalities, priorities and political parties are different, but their goal is the same -- to be Utah's next Governor. In the final week before the election, Republican Jon Huntsman and Democrat Scott Matheson are stepping up the pace in the non-glamorous campaign work.

Jon Huntsman Junior is spending more time with his campaign staff than his family these days---in and out of the office. The same goes for Scott Matheson junior, but because his wife is part his campaign, politics is a family affair once again. Which begs the question, why do these men, who haven't held public office before, want this job anyway?

Jon Huntsman, Jr./(R) Candidate For Utah Governor: "I need this job like I need a hole in the head, as my wife keeps telling me. I don't need a title, I don't need a plaque to hang on the wall. This race is not about me."

Scott Matheson, Jr., (D) Candidate For Utah Governor: "I'm at a point in my personal and professional career where I can give this everything that I've got. I just see this as a great opportunity to serve the state."

A desire to give back, to serve is one of the things the Republican and Democrat candidates have in common. But where there are differences, they are sharp.

Huntsman and Matheson disagree on Utah's Amendment Three -- Matheson's concerned about the legal consequences, Huntsman feels defining marriage is worth the legal risks.

Matheson's priority is public education, against Tuition Tax credits, afraid it might harm funding a system most Utah children use.

For Huntsman, willing to try a voucher program, economic development is a way to fully fund education and invest in Utah in a lot of ways.

Matheson also feels strongly there is a need for balance and accountability in state government.

Scott Matheson, Jr., (D) Candidate For Utah Governor: "I believe my candidacy offers the state an opportunity to make the political system more open, more accountable, and more balanced. I think that's something the state of Utah needs."

Jon Huntsman, Jr./(R) Candidate For Utah Governor: “I don’t know if we need an affirmative action program to the political parties. I don’t think we need to change the lay of the land, other than giving the power of the vote to the citizens of the state.”

And one week from tomorrow that power will play out and one of these men will be the next Governor.

A reminder that KSL-5's Town Hall meeting with the candidates for Utah Governor will begin tonight at 7 pm.

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