The debate started with a qustion to Republican candidate Dennis Richardson about how he's been fined for failing to report his rent-free stay at a Lake Oswego donor's home.
Richardson defended himself at the Oregon Association of Broadcasters debate on Friday.
"Secretary of State is challenging us living in Portland with a friend who didn't charge us rent. We didn't report their in-kind donations, but they're not going to charge rent. But we'll make good on that. But what we've seen with the Patrica McCaig story, of how she was on thr staff giving advice to Gvoernor Kitzhaber on thr Columbia River Crossing while also getting a $554,000 salary from the chief contractor for the project. That's criminal. It's certainly unethical."
Democratic Governor John Kitzhaer has faced criticism he didn't report the work of a political consultant.
PERS was another subject addressed.
The candidates were asked whether they believed further PERS reform is needed.
"Dennis Richardson: PERS is one of those issues that just keeps coming up. We're waiting for the Supreme Court to decide this. But these reforms did not solve our PERS problems, it only lowers the PERS increases. The way to deal with it is to decide what is contarctual and what is the decision of the legislature. John Kitzhaber: I believe we have a strong case before the Supreme Court. I think we have made dents and we need to move on to other things. We need to work on increasing the minimum wage and pay equity. Our hard working public employees have sacrificed enough. It's time to move on to other ideas."
The candidates were also asked how they would improve rural Oregon's economies.
"Richardson: What we need to do in our rural areas is to deal with our natural resoruces and make sure our products are sold internationally. Kitzhaber: Its' been said if you've seen one county in Oregon you've seen one county in Oregon. Each county is different. We have regional economies in this stae. That's why we set up regional solutions process which prioritize community and economic development processes and then we bring state, federal and local and non profit resources. That's how this area got a four year institution from a regional solutions process."
When asked to name the top three thigns they plan to do to help Oregonians, Governor Kitzhaber said expand affordable healthcare, improve early learning and implement low carbon standards. Richardson says he would work for equal pay, improved education and restoring trust in government.