-- — SOUTH BEND — Fiscal integrity was a common thread of Indiana’s second gubernatorial debate Wednesday at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.
In front of a crowd of 483, Democrat John Gregg, Republican Mike Pence and Libertarian Rupert Boneham debated several issues, but seemed to tie nearly every question back to the push for economic growth and job creation in Indiana.
Candidates fielded questions from local residents and, in the spirit of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, challenged each other on topics they brought up.
While the candidates agreed on the need to grow more good-paying jobs in Indiana, they varied in their answers on how to foster job creation in the state. Many of their statements were themes visited during last week’s first debate in Zionsville.
Pence stated he wanted to look at tax cuts across the board for Hoosiers, including the large portion of small businesses that can file as individuals. He said this tax cut would give Indiana one of the lowest tax rates in the Midwest, increasing funds for Hoosiers and attracting jobs. He also stressed his goal of giving the state more control over funds currently controlled by the federal government as an opportunity to increase state revenue and success.
"The opportunity right now is to build on that progress (of the last eight years under Gov. Mitch Daniels)," Pence said. "There is a common opinion here between me and my opponents – keeping Indiana on the same path we’re on is not good enough."
Gregg cited his plan for transportation jobs as a way to create jobs for Hoosiers.
"I have a plan, and it’s for roads, bridges, rail, maritime ports and airports," Gregg said Wednesday. "What we do is we take existing funds that Indiana has, and we leverage those and raise $3.5 billion. According to the Federal Highway Administration, that will create 97,000 good-paying jobs."