Taft, Hagan Meet In First Televised Debate

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Republican Gov. Bob Taft and Democratic challenger Tim Hagan clashed over gambling on Tuesday night in their first statewide televised debate.

Hagan said that Ohio would gain revenue that now winds up at casinos and tracks in surrounding states. He said that Ohioans are helping those states fund schools instead of helping schools in Ohio.

Taft said that Hagan was basing budget spending on unreliable income that video slots would provide. Taft said that he won't gamble the future of the state's children.

Taft also accused Hagan of changing his positions on raising taxes and a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 5 ballot that would force judges to impose treatment for first- and second-time drug offenders.

Hagan responded that he wasn't changing his positions lightly. He said that he didn't realize "what a disaster" he would take over if elected.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)