RI gov candidates return to campaign trail after debate

The three leading candidates for Rhode Island governor - Gina Raimondo, Allan Fung and Bob Healey - debate on WPRI 12.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With less than two weeks to go before the general election, the candidates for Rhode Island governor are back on the campaign trail after squaring off in a live televised debate.

Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Allan Fung, and Moderate Robert Healey sparred over a number of issues on the PPAC stage Tuesday night.

The candidates had varied feelings about the outcome of the debate.

“I think we need to be able to confront each other so that we can get ideas out there, rather than talking about each other’s television commercials,” said Healey.

“I’m very excited about the debate, had an opportunity to really get my points across about what I want to do,” Fung said.

“I offer a comprehensive jobs plan to get Rhode Island back to work, rebuild the middle class,” said Raimondo. “My opponent offers reckless tax cuts.”

The latest poll released by WPRI 12 and The Providence Journal revealed that Raimondo holds a slim lead in the race, meaning there was a lot on the line in the debate.

After the dust settled, emails poured into the Eyewitness Newsroom from Democrats and Republicans, challenging what Fung and Raimondo claimed. The Democratic Party said Fung lied when he said he never campaigned with former Governor Don Carcieri, claiming Carcieri was there when Fung accepted an endorsement from Mitt Romney.

“He wasn’t campaigning, and this is where there’s a big distortion of the facts by the Democrats,” Fung retorted.

A pro-life group said Raimondo contradicted herself on her late-term abortion stance, stemming from when she accepted an endorsement from Planned Parenthood.

“I have concisely stated my opinion numerous times and it has not changed,” Raimondo responded. “I am pro-choice, but I would also support a ban on late-term abortions that have a provision for the life and health of a woman.”

The three candidates, along with independents Leon Kayarian and Kate Fletcher, will vie for the state’s top job in the general election Nov. 4.

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