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WATCH: Scott and Zuckerman meet in Vermont gubernatorial debate on WCAX

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and challenger David Zuckerman will face off in a debate Wednesday evening on WCAX.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and challenger David Zuckerman will face off in a debate Wednesday evening on WCAX.(WCAX)
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 2:59 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2020 at 9:09 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - WCAX hosted a gubernatorial debate Wednesday evening, Oct. 7. Vermont’s incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic challenger David Zuckerman, the current lieutenant governor, discussed key issues facing Vermonters.

Watch the video below to see the full debate.

Earlier on Wednesday, our Calvin Cutler had a preview of what viewers could expect to see.

In an election year like no other, Scott and Zuckerman will go head-to-head, outlining their vision for Vermont in the pandemic and beyond. We can expect a discussion of Scott’s handling of the pandemic and his willingness to listen to the experts.

“We have a good program and a good contact tracing program that’s been essential for providing for the numbers that we’re seeing,” Scott said.

Zuckerman has credited the governor for his work in the initial response, but he also says some of the governor’s decisions were politically motivated, such as the twice-weekly press conferences and a vacuum of communication between the two during the height of the pandemic.

“COVID is a nonpartisan issue this is all hands on deck. The governor and his staff decided that they don’t want to cooperate and to work together,” Zuckerman said.

And underlying problems will also take center stage. Scott and Zuckerman have vastly different takes on how to improve the state’s demographic crisis, which affects the economy, education, and municipalities.

“We’re going to have to be creative but we can have the best education system in the country and attract more people here if we do the right thing,” Scott said.

And then there’s the budget. The state’s general fund is slated to be in the red some $100 million and the education fund $40 million. Scott says that new taxes and fees should be a last resort, while Zuckerman has suggested a wealth-based tax.

“If we’re going to cut, what is it? And is it better to say to our wealthiest Vermonters who have benefitted from 40 years of tax cuts to the wealthiest -- can you pitch in to make sure we stay whole?” Zuckerman said.

Our Darren Perron and Celine McArthur moderated the debate. In the Channel 3 News at 4 p.m., Celine gave our Cat Viglienzoni a preview of what viewers could expect.

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