The one and only debate between Lieutenant Governor candidates Greg Bell and Vince Rampton took place on Wednesday at Utah State University. Republican incumbent Bell and Democratic challenger Rampton argued their positions on public lands, the economy, and the budget, among other things.
Perhaps the biggest issue discussed by the candidates was the cost of higher education. Rampton criticizes Governor Gary Herbert for not doing enough to fund state colleges.
"The legislature was asked for $64 million for higher ed this year. The Governor budgeted $16 million. And they finally passed $21 million. We need to make sure that education in the state of Utah, both at the higher ed level and the K-12 level, is adequately funded, or governance will have increasingly fewer resources to work with and an increasing inability to serve a burgeoning student body population."
But Bell says Herbert had to fight to make higher education a bigger priority in the state budget.
"Higher education sustained about a 12% cut. Why? Because Governor Herbert fought diligently and manfully, let me tell you. I was there. I watched the mud wrestle, and it was not pretty. But because of his courage and putting stakes in the ground, we avoided larger cuts to higher education and public education."
Bell is Governor Herbert’s current Lieutenant Governor, while Rampton is running to be Democrat Peter Cooke’s right hand man in Salt Lake City.