Gubernatorial debate heats up Rochester Country Club - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Gubernatorial debate heats up Rochester Country Club

ROCHESTER (KTTC-DT)-- Tom Horner, Mark Dayton and Tom Emmer all squared off in their 23rd gubernatorial debate Friday afternoon in Rochester, sparring over taxes, healthcare and the state's rising debt.

"Senator Dayton, your whole career has been moving from one job to the next before you completed the last job," said Independent Candidate Tom Horner.

The debate was held at the Rochester Country Club and was a pay-per-person luncheon put on by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. For a while the conversation the focused on how to keep Minnesota's education system moving forward.

"We have to reward schools and teachers that are actually producing the performance that we expect," said Republican Candidate Tom Emmer.

"Rochester like the rest of Minnesota faces it's challenges," added Democrat Mark Dayton.

With the state still facing a massive budget deficit and unemployment looming around 7-percent, candidates were asked how they would get things moving again.

"We can't afford to move sideways at all, whether it's to the right or to the left," said Horner.

Dayton said he would consider raising taxes for some wealthy Minnesotans but try to avoid cutting any more state programs, "New job growth comes primarily from entrepreneurs and new business startups," he added.

The debate got heated at one point in the afternoon as Mark Dayton questioned Tom Emmer on how he plans to balance the state's budget.

"This argument that we have to either raises taxes or cut services just isn't real," Emmer added.

Before election day on November 2, the candidates will be squaring off in at least another six debates across the state.

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