MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Democratic candidates for governor attacked Gov. Scott Walker in their first broadcast debate, while also trying to distinguish themselves from the crowded field of eight and tout their own policies.
State Superintendent Tony Evers argued Thursday the fact that he's the only candidate to have won statewide election makes puts him in the best position to beat Walker. But others, including Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, argue their experience in office make them the best choice.
Former Democratic Party chairman Matt Flynn says he would legalize marijuana if elected.
Former state Rep. Kelda Roys says she would pardon anyone charged with performing an abortion, should Roe v. Wade be overturned and a state ban enacted.
State firefighter union head Mahlon Mitchell says his leadership skills would bring the state together.
All eight say they oppose the Foxconn project. All of them except Evers and attorney Josh Pade say they would kill the deal if elected.
All of them also support an early release program to reduce the prison population, and all except Evers say they would offer free tuition for two-year schools and tech colleges.
The massive Foxconn Technology Group project and Gov. Scott Walker are two frequent targets of Democrats meeting for their first broadcast debate.
The eight Democratic candidates are united in being against the $10 billion Foxconn project, but state Superintendent Tony Evers and attorney Josh Pade are the only ones who don't believe the next governor could end the project. Evers instead says the deal should be renegotiated to make it better for taxpayers.
The candidates are also targeting Walker.
State firefighter union president Mahlon Mitchell says Walker "doesn't give a crap about the people of the state of Wisconsin." He says Walker acts differently as a candidate than he does as a governor.
Political activist Mike McCabe is also running for governor. He was the only one to say he would not support the Democratic nominee if he doesn't win, saying a party loyalty pledge "sends the wrong message to voters."
The primary is Aug. 14. The winner of the primary will be up against Walker in November's election.