Gubernatorial debate brings more clashes

Democrat Bev Perdue and Republican Pat McCrory continued to trade charges Wednesday night in the final debate of their gubernatorial campaign.

The two clashed over school vouchers, crime and open government during the hour-long debate at WTVI, Charlotte's public television station.

Co-sponsored by WSOC-TV and the League of Women Voters, the debate also included Libertarian candidate Mike Munger.

The debate came as a new survey by Raleigh's Public Policy Polling showed Lt. Gov. Perdue and Charlotte Mayor McCrory virtually tied three weeks before the election.

Perdue repeated charges that McCrory opposes children's health insurance and vetoed a bill to put more cops on the street of Charlotte. McCrory cast her as part of Raleigh's “culture of secrecy.”

At one point, Perdue said, “Shame on you, Mayor McCrory,” after he dismissed some of her law enforcement supporters as “union organizers.”

When Perdue made a charge about him, he shook his head.

“I'm used to it,” he said, alluding to her ads. “I see it on TV every week.”

At times, Munger seemed trapped between his dueling rivals.

Once, when moderator Vince Coakley asked about illegal immigrants, Perdue and McCrory each sought to rebut claims by the other about another subject.

“I'm just going to answer the question,” Munger said.