Governor candidates Neil Abercrombie and David Ige sparred off for the fifth time on the Big Island Tuesday morning.
The two democratic candidates debated with 11 days remaining before the primary election.
The governor and state senator traded verbal jabs at the forum in Kailua Kona.
They argued about the cost of universal pre-school for four year olds, health care for the elderly and taxing pensions for seniors when the state was in a budget deficit several years ago.
“I stood up and insisted we do not tax state pension; introduced amendments to make the law even stronger. I will never balance the budget on the backs of the elderly,” said Sen. Ige.
“The Senator may say that he would never tax pensions, but he was originator of the first bill to tax pensions that didn’t fly. Forgot to mention that,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
Abercrombie had initially agreed to four AARP forums, but canceled three of them because of scheduling issues.
There will be one final debate on Aug. 5 between the two candidates.