Abercrombie, Ige go head-to-head in governor debate

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Aug 06 2014 03:50:38 AM HST
Updated On: Jul 03 2014 11:07:49 PM HST

Neil Abercrombie versus David Ige, in the first televised debate between the two candidates who are facing each other in the Democratic Primary. KITV4's Nana Ohkawa has more on what voters saw as the two candidates went head to head.

HONOLULU -

Viewers saw firsthand which major topics candidates Neil Abercrombie and David Ige held as points of agreement and disagreement.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's story.

But right from the start, they disagreed on who can take credit for the recovery of the economy.

"We've had this opportunity over the past four years to see what happens when you exercise fiscal management. That's what I've been hired to do. That's what's been done. We are now back. We are in the black and we still stay in the black," said Abercrombie.

"The governor submitted a budget and the legislator made the tough decisions to cut the budget in the four years that I've served as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. We cut the governor's budget by a billion dollars," said Ige.

The televised forum on Public Broadcasting Stations' Insights showed both agree to look at labeling genetically modified foods and to provide health care for the Micronesian community in the state.

Both agree to try and find ways to import liquefied natural gas to the state if it brings electricity costs down for residents.

But, they see clear differences on if there will be enough schools in Kaka'ako given the developments.

"No. That's one of the concerns I have with Kaka'ako. There is no plan for a school facility in the Kaka'ako region, especially no school for an elementary school level. That's a big concern of lots of residents in Kaka'ako," said Ige.

"There's more than enough space right now. If you take where the Kaka'ako development area is, it includes the entire McKinley area and Blaisdell center area. There are schools immediately adjacent to that," said Abercrombie

The candidates also discussed flying homeless out of the state, which was a point of disagreement too.

"Whether people can be picked up and forced out of the state, I suspect we will have legal implications very quickly," said Abercrombie.

"I think it makes sense where you have someone who might have been intrigued by coming to Hawaii and read urban myths online on having it easy out here. I do believe in that situation. It makes sense to fly those people home," said Ige.

The primary is on Aug. 9.

Abercrombie and Ige only have a few committed appearances before then.

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