By Chris Wright, The News On 6
TAHLEQUAH, OK -- Oklahoma's six candidates for governor went head-to-head Wednesday night in the final gubernatorial forum before next week's primary election.
Attorney General Drew Edmondson, Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, U.S. Representative Mary Fallin, State Senator Randy Brogdon, and Oklahoma City businessmen Roger Jackson and Robert Hubbard faced off at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.
Edmondson and Askins are battling it out for the Democratic nomination.
Fallin, Brogdon, Jackson and Hubbard are fighting for the Republican nomination. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, a primary runoff election will be held Aug. 24.
The forum began with questions the candidates were given a chance to see and prepare answers for ahead of time. Each candidate had two minutes to weigh in on a range of topics, from problems with Oklahoma's health care system and prison system to strategies they would use to attract new businesses and investments to the state.
"We are of course a leader in energy, and we can be proud of that as well," Attorney General Edmondson said. "There is an Oklahoma standard and we know what it is and it's something we should be proud of and I know we are."
""We know that it's not just the work ethic, it's not just the philanthropic and charitable attributes we have toward each other," Lt. Governor Askins said. "All of that is rooted in the values that started with the pioneers and the Native Americans that were here when those pioneers came."
The candidates also touched on the topic of Oklahomans' health. All claimed they would approve the repeal of federal health care reform and strive to battle problems like obesity and diabetes, they say has become epidemic in Oklahoma.
"I believe the question is what can we do," Senator Brogdon said. "I think the best thing we can do is get government out of our lives when it comes to trying to control our nutrition, to control our health. That is really the responsibility of the individual."
"We're too good of a state to have those kinds of numbers," Representative Fallin said. They're a drag upon our state's economy, a drag upon our families, a drag upon our health and certainly a drag upon our healthy lifestyles in the state."
Voters head to the polls next Tuesday.
To see candidate bios and videos that explain where the candidates stand on a variety of issues, including jobs, taxes, and immigration, check out our Politics page.