SEATTLE — The Latest on the Washington gubernatorial debate (all times local):
Gov. Jay Inslee and his Republican opponent Bill Bryant sparred over education, taxes and government oversight in their second debate.
At Seattle University Monday night Bryant repeatedly rapped the incumbent Democrat, saying he had mismanaged state departments, especially the state’s mental health system. He also said Inslee had failed to come up with a plan to fund K-12 education, as mandated by the state Supreme Court, which “means he is a failed governor.”
Inslee countered that the state has invested $5.5 billion in public education, that “significant strides” have been made to increase pay for teachers and increase access to kindergarten. He said Washington is a “confident and optimistic state” and that he’s helped create 250,000 jobs.
Gov. Jay Inslee and his GOP challenger Bill Bryant are meeting for their second debate.
The two will face off in Seattle Monday night.
Bryant, a former Seattle port commissioner, has been sharply criticizing Inslee for what he says is mismanagement of state departments. Last week Bryant called on Inslee to release reports on problems at the state’s largest psychiatric hospital. A recent report revealed that thousands of tools used to open patient windows were unaccounted for and that management was unwilling to recognize that failing to focus on security puts patients and the public at risk.
Inslee’s campaign said Bryant’s event was a “desperate press stunt from a faltering campaign.”
After Monday the two candidates have three more debates scheduled before the November election.