Dennis Richardson wins first debate

Dennis Richardson 2013_thb

Dennis Richardson for Governor

Salem, OR – State Representative and candidate for Governor Dennis Richardson delivered a commanding win in his first debate with John Kitzhaber at the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association Convention.

“I’m grateful to the ONPA for hosting this event, and for the opportunity to have a frank and honest conversation with Governor Kitzhaber about the downward spiral our state has taken under his leadership.”

During the debate, Richardson argued against an unprecedented fourth term for Kitzhaber.

“The Governor is not tuned in to governing. He’s not paying attention. And his list of failures proves it… I know what Oregon families are going through, and I can help.”

When asked directly to explain the $300 million in taxpayer dollars that were wasted on Cover Oregon, Kitzhaber refused to admit responsibility, “I just don’t accept the premise that all those dollars were wasted.”

The panel also addressed the controversial issues related to SAIF. Kitzhaber’s response again bordered on the absurd.

“One of the responsibilities of this job is to know when to jump in and when not to jump in,” Kitzhaber noted.

Richardson pointed out that an important time to “jump in” may have been before the failed launch of the Cover Oregon web site.

“Oregon’s Prosperity Engine runs on two things: A strong economy and a world-class education system. Lately it hasn’t been firing on all cylinders. The Governor’s been AWOL and when he’s here, he’s distracted. It’s time to prioritize a healthy economy and robust public education system.”

Watch part one of the debate on Oregonlive

Watch part two of the debate on Oregonlive