First Debate Held in Governor's Race

posted by Rick Flagg - 

Four Democrats running for governor of the Sunshine State squared off Wednesday in their first debate of the campaign. 

Philip Levine of Miami Beach says Republican leaders have been pouring money into charter schools at the expense of public schools.

"We should not be investing in the competition," he said. "I think we should stop that cottage industry, stop these charter schools, and start investing in our public schools."

Chris King of Orlando says the Republicans who run state government are clueless when it comes to public education.

"A small group of people, who are completely removed from the classroom, are dictating what we are doing in our public schools," he said.

The Democratic candidates also agreed that public schools should spend more time teaching and less time testing.

Gwen Graham is the only woman in the race and she was the favorite target for fellow Democrats Andrew Gillum, Chris King and Philip Levine. 

Graham was criticized for crossing party lines and working with Republicans while serving in Congress. 

But she says cooperation is a good thing, especially in a state where the GOP controls the legislature.

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