Gov candidates discuss the kids

The three major party candidates discussed children’s issues at a debate this afternoon in St. Paul. The debate, sponsored by MinnPost, allowed the candidates to outline their vision for early childhood education and children’s health care.

The candidates did discuss specifics but also resorted their criticisms of their opponents.

Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner criticized Dayton for his numerous runs for political office. Dayton shot back that his work as a state agency head and U.S. Senate makes him more qualified to be governor.

Emmer criticized Horner for not having the Minnesota Department of Revenue review his budget plan. Horner said they did (which isn’t exactly true).

Dayton criticized Emmer for constantly ripping government yet wanting to be in charge of it. Emmer said he’s running because too many politicians ignore middle class issues.

You can read my story on the debate here.

You can listen to the full debate here:

The biggest news of the day came after the debate when Dayton declined to answer questions about his settlement with a former staffer.

Dayton announced in a written statement that he was paying the U.S. Treasury back for the undisclosed amount of the settlement.

The Republican Party first raised the issue at a news conference this morning.

The three candidates will appear on MPR’s Midmorning for a two hour gubernatorial debate tomorrow at 9.

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