At today’s first gubernatorial debate in Spokane, Gov. Jay Inslee laid out a substantive, confident, and positive vision to continue building upon his bipartisan successes in education, transportation and job creation. His opponent, Republican Bill Bryant, failed to demonstrate any new ideas beyond the same Republican talking points Washington voters have heard time and time again.

The debate, hosted by KHQ and business groups the Association of Washington Business and Greater Spokane Incorporated, highlighted clearly why Bryant has struggled to gain any momentum.

While Inslee articulated a clear vision for moving Washington forward on living wages for workers, continuing to improve our education system, and combatting climate change, Republican Bill Bryant struggled to provide any specifics on any of the major issues facing our state. He was forced to defend his long-standing refusal to disavow Donald Trump and his opposition to increasing Washington’s minimum wage.

“This is about leadership and vision. On issue after issue, Republican Bill Bryant has shown he has neither. Bill has done nothing to set his vision apart from that of other Republicans who prefer raises for CEOs instead of their hard-working employees, oppose meaningful climate action, and put oil tax loopholes ahead of classroom funding,” said Jamal Raad, Inslee’s communications director.

“Governor Inslee, on the other hand, can point to a strong record of bipartisan success that includes a historic cut in tuition for college students, significant new investments in early learning and K-12, and job growth that has made Washington’s economy one of the best in the nation. He worked with Republicans to secure new transportation investments that will help fix some of the worst chokepoints on our roads. And the Governor is a leader on reducing carbon pollution. Washingtonians are looking for real leadership and that’s what Jay will continue to deliver.”