Governor candidates debate as virus troubles grow

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — The three candidates for Indiana governor are meeting for their last televised debate Tuesday night, one week ahead of Election Day.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb faced criticism of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic from Democratic challenger Woody Myers and Libertarian Donald Rainwater during a debate last week.

Since then, the state has continued to face steep increases in coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations stretching back to when Holcomb lifted nearly all of COVID-19 restrictions last month.

Myers has argued that Holcomb’s been too passive in response, while Rainwater maintains the governor has exceeded his authority with executive orders that include the statewide mask mandate.

Holcomb said that his actions were needed during a public health emergency and has chastised those who don’t wear masks while out in public places.

More than 1 million Indiana voters have already cast ballots as the state is seeing record levels of mail-in and early voting.

The three governor candidates are to take part in the hourlong debate from separate areas of the WFYI-TV studio in Indianapolis because of COVID-19 precautions, according to organizers with the nonprofit Indiana Debate Commission.

More on