Welcome to our live blog on the final Democratic gubernatorial debate. Stay tuned for updates from the debate, which begins at 7 p.m.
We're under way. No opening statements for this debate.
What makes you more electable than your opponents?
Anthony Brown: Cites his experience as lieutenant governor and his time in the military. “Maryland’s a great state, but we can do better.” Crime is down and they’ve made strides in unemployment, but Brown says he’ll work to improve in those areas.
Heather Mizeur: There’s a growing disparity between the haves and have notes. She wants to turn the minimum wage into a living wage. Closing the income equality gap is the biggest issue facing our state.
Doug Gansler: Elected four times by the people of Maryland. Both parties have endorsed him before. Citizens care about the tax burden and the lack of jobs created. He’ll work to address those issues.
On the Chesapeake Bay and pollution:
Brown: We’ve made a lot of progress over the last eight years. We’ve put more land in the program open space than ever before. Enrolled more farm lands in the cover crop program. Limited septic tanks for large developments, well on our way to completing renovation and upgrade to our largest wastewater treatment plants. Still work to do. Only way to make progress is broaden environmental coalition. We’ve demonstrated in the last eight years that we can bring people together to focus on the bay.
Mizeur: We all should be frustrated when pregnant women are discouraged by physicians from swimming in the bay. We’ve overpopulated and over-harvested our oysters. We have to rebuild the oyster population to help them do what they naturally do to clean up the bay. We have to get serious about addressing the agriculture runoff. 23% of pollution going into the bay is coming from our chicken farms. Saying no to fracking in state and saying no to Cove Point.
Gansler: Last eight years the bay has been priority. We’ve changed the culture of enforcement. We need to address climate change because “Maryland needs to be a leader” in environmental issues. We can get the bay to where it was 50 years ago. We need to take on the lobbyists.
What will be your No. 1 priority on your first day in office?
Gansler: Look at tax structure and figure out how to make ourselves competitive with neighboring states. Become a job-friendly state. Also change the culture of Annapolis, which is being driven by special interests and lobbyists. We need to have Annapolis go back to the people of this state.
Brown: The No. 1 job is going to be creating jobs. We have to strengthen Maryland’s business climate. Maryland compares favorably with Virginia, adding more jobs than Va. He’ll work to implement five-point plan, coupled with efforts looking to tax reforms.
Mizeur: Pre-K plan. Other candidates talking about taking money away from education to fund pre-K expansion. She’ll do that through marijuana reforms. Current laws have been a failure. Goal is to bring an underground economy to the light of day, put the state in charge of regulating it. 160 million in new revenue from regulating marijuana would go toward funding pre-K program.