GOP gubernatorial debate becomes confrontational

Scott Wagner, left, a York County state senator and the president of waste-hauler PennWaste Inc., Laura Ellsworth, center, a lawyer from suburban Pittsburgh and a first-time candidate, Paul Mango, right, a former health care systems consultant from suburban Pittsburgh and a first-time candidate, answer questions from the panel during a debate between Republican Gubernatorial candidates at Harrisburg Area Community College in Harrisburg, Pa., Thursday, March 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Knight)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A debate between three Republicans seeking the party’s nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in November’s election quickly became confrontational, as Paul Mango relentlessly attacked the party’s endorsed candidate, state Sen. Scott Wagner.

Mango’s attacks at Thursday night’s hour-long debate in Harrisburg prompted Wagner to call him “lying Paul.” That was in an exchange over a bill Wagner supported to prohibit discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Mango likened Wagner to Wolf and called him a “dangerous and ineffective liberal insider.” Laura Ellsworth chided the men for name-calling, shouting and finger-pointing.

In a question on guns, the candidates aren’t changing their position against greater gun control, even on ideas supported by President Donald Trump in the wake of the Florida school shooting.

The primary election is May 15.

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