(WHTM) — The four leading Republican candidates vying for Pennsylvania’s open governor seat faced off on stage Wednesday night in an hour-long debate. The four candidates are all hoping to replace Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.
Lou Barletta, Doug Mastriano, Bill McSwain, and Dave White appeared in the Pennsylvania Republican Gubernatorial Debate on April 27 at 8 p.m. in the prime-time event airing in every market in the commonwealth.
Watch the debate in the video player above. Plus, catch up on live highlights from the debate below:
8:06 p.m.: In response to a question about cutting the gas tax, McSwain targeted Mastriano in his response. He said, “Let’s start with Senator Mastriano since he is standing here right to my right. He claims to be a fiscal conservative, but look at his record. He has voted again and again for Governor Wolf’s spending increases.” Mastriano responded by saying, “Nonsense is still nonsense, especially when spoken from an attorney.”
8:07 p.m.: On the topic of electability and the former President Donald Trump factor, McSwain comments on Trump saying, “Do not vote for Bill McSwain” and targets Mastriano in his response saying, “I know Doug served as well, and I respect that, but as an Army Officer, I know you also spent your time wishing you were a Marine.” See the full back-and-forth below:
8:14 p.m.: On the topic of the Jan. 6 insurrection and any legal issues tied to Mastriano, the candidate responded saying, “There are no legal issues… I was there to hear my president speak, and then I was invited to speak at two locations exercising my constitutional rights and shame on the media and the Democrats for painting anyone down there as a villain.”
8:18 p.m.: Barletta and Mastriano respond to McSwain saying that Pennsylvania needs an “outsider conservative. Barletta said, “When I hear someone say they’re not a politician, that means they have no experience. And you want to say I voted for Obama’s budget, it’s probably not as bad as you who voted for Obama.” Mastriano said, “Lies and deception, all to get a vote. The dishonesty.” McSwain later responded saying he did not vote for Obama. Barletta later clarified and apologized to McSwain, saying, “He did not vote for Obama, he voted for Bill Clinton because you were a Democrat during that time.”
8:28 p.m.: Answering a question about how much “fracking” should go on in Pennsylvania, Barletta said, “Having all this natural gas under our feet, without building the pipelines is like being in college and having a keg of beer without a tap. It doesn’t make any sense.” See the other candidates’ responses below:
8:32 p.m.: When responding to whether or not abortion laws should have exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother, the candidates split in their responses. Mastriano and White say no to exceptions, while McSwain and Barletta said they would have exceptions. In his response, Mastriano said, “I don’t give way for exceptions either. Kathy Barnette, she’s going to be our next U.S. Senator, she is a product of rape.” See the other responses below:
In the WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill Pennsylvania primary poll, Barletta, a former congressman and mayor of Hazelton, received 19.8% support among 1,000 likely Republican voters. State Senator Mastriano finished a close second with 19.4%, followed by businessman Dave White at 11.6%. Former U.S. Attorney William McSwain finished fourth with 7.9%
Candidates arrive at abc27:
Candidates who received at least 5% in either the March or April Nexstar/Emerson College Polling/The Hill polls were invited to attend.
The Pennsylvania Governor Debate was carried on the following stations and websites:
|WHTM-TV||ABC||Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, York, PA||Abc27.com||@abc27news|
|WBRE-TV||NBC||Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, PA||Pahomepage.com||@eyewitnessnewstv|
|WTAJ-TV||CBS||Johnstown, Altoona, State College, PA||Wearecentralpa.com||@wtajtv|
In addition, the Pennsylvania Governor Debate was streamed on the following websites:
|Station||Network||Market (Counties)||Station Website||Social|
|WETM-TV||NBC||Elmira, NY (Tioga)||Mytwintiers.com||@wetm18news|
|WPIX-TV||CW||New York, NY (Monroe)||Pix11.com||@pix11news|
|WIVB-TV||CBS||Buffalo, NY (McKean, Potter)||Wivb.com||@News4buffalo|
|WDVM-TV||IND||Washington, DC (Fulton)||Localdvm.com||@wdvmtv|
WHTM abc27 News anchor and Capitol Bureau Reporter Dennis Owens and WPXI Anchor Lisa Sylvester co-hosted the debate from the abc27 studio in Harrisburg.
abc27’s Post Debate Analysis:
Attorney General of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro is the only gubernatorial candidate in the Democratic field for the May 17 primary general election. In total, there will be nine Republican names featured on the May 17 primary ballot.
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The Republican candidates for Pennsylvania’s open United States Senate seat participated in a debate on April 25. The Democratic Party candidates for Senate held a debate on April 21 that can be rewatched online.
The primary election for the open Pennsylvania governor seat is scheduled to take place on May 17. Voters must register to vote by May 2.
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