by Gabe Bullard
Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo and Attorney General Jack Conway clashed occasionally at a forum featuring Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate held at the University of Louisville Thursday.
All five candidates–Mongiardo, Conway, Maurice Sweeney, Darlene Price and James Buckmaster–attended the forum, but much of the audience supported either Mongiardo or Conway, who lead the others in the polls.
The discussion was cordial on most topics, but when asked about the recently passed federal health care overhaul legislation, Conway said he supported it, while suggesting that Mongiardo sided with Republicans on the issue.
“Not only did he say he’d vote against it, he said it was time to stop and start over,” said Conway. “Stop and start over? That’s where Jim Bunning is, that’s where Mitch McConnell is, that’s where Rand Paul and that’s where the whole Tea Party movement is.”
Mongiardo, who leads Conway in the polls, responded ,”I would vote for it if, and only if, this were a first step and I had assurances from our president we would continue on with health care reform that would reduce the cost of health care and improve the quality of healthcare for everyone.”
The two again clashed when asked about same-sex marriage.
“I don’t believe that we ought to be discriminating when it comes to housing, when it comes to employment, when it comes to anything else,” said Mongiardo. “I just don’t believe, and I believe most believe as I do, in same-sex marriage.”
Mongiardo then accused Conway of not making his position clear, and Conway responded, “I abhor discrimination in all forms and I think marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman.”