(left to right) Mike Pence, John Gregg, and Rupert Boneham
(Fort Wayne, Ind.) – Social issues played a major role in the final Indiana gubernatorial debate Thursday night in Fort Wayne.
Democrat John Gregg accused Republican Mike Pence of constantly changing his stance on the issue of abortion.
“He’s now for abortion for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Although before, earlier in the year it was just the life of the mother. And if you go back to late last year, no exceptions,” Gregg said.
Meanwhile, Pence defended U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s apology for controversial remarks Mourdock made regarding abortion in the case of rape earlier this week.
“I’m grateful that Richard Mourdock clarified his statement and apologized, and I support his candidacy for the Senate,” Pence, Indiana’s current Sixth District U.S. Congressman, said.
Teaching creationism in schools was another topic of discussion in the debate. Pence said he thinks decisions on curriculum should be left up to local school districts. Gregg deflected the question, but after the debate said he wants creationism ideas to remain in literature classes, not science classes.
Libertarian Rupert Boneham said no change should be made.
"If we want our children to just be taught creationism and not evolution, we should find those alternative schools," Boneham said. "I want to keep science science."
Should Indiana legalize medical marijuana? The candidates varied greatly in their responses to that question. Gregg, a cancer survivor himself, said he was open to the idea.
“I didn't use anything like that, but I know some people had all kinds of pains,” Gregg said. “I think at least I'd want to listen to them. Not inclined to do it, but I'd want to show them respect and listen to it.”
“We need to get more serious about confronting the scourge of drugs, especially meth, in Indiana. Decriminalization is not the right path, in my opinion,” Pence stated.
Libertarian Rupert Boneham said legalize medicinal marijuana.
“We don’t want to be toting just to the chemical companies, because they cannot produce that plant. Let our people who want medical marijuana be able to have that,” he said.
Boneham, a former reality television star on CBS’ Survivor, continued his push for smaller state government by saying he would provide more tax revenue to counties and allow county-level leaders to make policy decisions.
With the series of debates behind them, the gubernatorial candidates will concentrate on campaign visits around the state. There are only 10 days to go before Election Day, Tuesday, November 6.