Brown, Kashkari Face Off in First and Only Debate in Governor Race

Gov. Jerry Brown and his Republican challenger Neel Kashkari traded sharp jabs in a scrappy, rapid-fire debate Thursday night that covered a wide array of disagreements over schools, water, energy, jobs, transportation and crime.

The Democratic incumbent opened with a greatest-hits account of his tenure, highlighting the state’s fiscal recovery. But Kashkari pounced in an opening statement of his own that set off an unrelenting rat-a-tat of nasty – but substantive — exchanges.

“I think Gov. Brown means well,” Kashkari said. “But his 40 years in government has left him out of touch with the struggles of working families.”

Brown was quick to snap back at his rival, after Kashkari pivoted from a question about his dismal poll ratings to criticism of the governor’s plan to build a $68-billion bullet train project linking Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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