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0000017b-f971-ddf0-a17b-fd73f3950000Election coverage from SPR and the Northwest News Network:Statewide Election: WashingtonSpokane County ElectionStatewide Election: IdahoStatewide Election: OregonU.S. House and Senate

Richardson, Kitzhaber Clash In Final Debate

Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson faced off in their final debate in Medford Monday.
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Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson faced off in their final debate in Medford Monday.

Some Oregon voters have already cast their ballot, but the leading candidates for governor managed to squeeze in one last debate Monday night. 



Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson faced off in their final debate in Medford Monday.
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Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson faced off in their final debate in Medford Monday.

Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson faced off on Medford television station KOBI.

Richardson had home-field advantage in the only southern Oregon gubernatorial debate this year. The long-time state lawmaker once again tried to paint Kitzhaber as playing fast and loose with state ethics laws. He said the governor looked the other way while his fiancée scored lucrative consulting contracts with companies that Richardson said wanted to influence state policy.

"Governor, that's not okay,” Richardson said. “That's corruption."

Richardson also brought up a 20-year-old newspaper article about Kitzhaber taking money for speaking engagements while he was a state lawmaker. Kitzhaber said he had done nothing wrong and implied it was a desperation move by Richardson's campaign.

"It raises very serious questions in my mind what they actually have to offer Oregon except for the fact that they're not me,” Kitzhaber said. “And I don't think that that quite cuts it in this state."

Kitzhaber is seeking an unprecedented fourth term as Oregon governor. He's maintained a wide lead over Richardson in both fundraising and in the polls.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.
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