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A Milder Debate As Wash. Governor Candidates Meet Again

Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna faced off in their fourth debate on Thursday. Images via TVW
Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna faced off in their fourth debate on Thursday. Images via TVW

As Election Day nears, the candidates for Washington governor appear to be getting mellower, not feistier. Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee met Thursday night in their fourth formal debate.

Perhaps the candidates are tired of each other or tired of hearing themselves speak -- or just plain tired. Whatever the case, it was a mellower Inslee and McKenna than at past debates. They re-plowed their positions on many hot topics like the budget, education, taxes and Medicaid expansion.

One of the hottest exchanges came when Inslee accused McKenna of trying to block women’s access to contraception when he joined a challenge the federal Affordable Care Act.

“The only reason that women today will have that protection is because he failed in that lawsuit," Inslee said.

McKenna responded that that was “completely untrue.”

“In fact it’s completely ludicrous. But it shows the extent to which Congressman Inslee and his campaign is willing to go in order to win an election.”

The Affordable Care Act does expand free access to contraception. McKenna joined a lawsuit that challenged the entire healthcare law, however his specific objection was over the mandate that individuals have to purchase insurance.

On the Web:

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Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.