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Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson faced-off in the resort town of Sunriver.

The environment hasn’t been a big issue during this presidential campaign. It mainly comes up in the context of energy independence.

The fifth and final debate between Washington’s candidates for governor was punctuated by personal attacks. Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna met in Seattle Tuesday night. The format encouraged them to engage each other.

As Election Day nears, the candidates for Washington governor appear to be getting mellower, not feistier. Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee met Thursday night in their fourth formal debate. Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports the face-off was void of many zingers.

Photo courtesy Spokesman-Review

This is Front Page, our new segment featuring conversations with journalists taking a closer look at the people, issues and events shaping lives across the Pacific Northwest. Today we’re visiting with the Spokesman Review. Here’s our news director John Paxson.

Photo Credit: Rob Mckenna website page and Jay Inslee website page.

The candidates for Washington governor are accusing each other of plotting tax hikes if elected. The issue of taxation came up repeatedly Tuesday night as Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee met in Yakima. It was their third debate.

Photo Credit: Washington State Attorney General's Office/Wiki Commons

As the presidential candidates prepare for Wednesday night’s debate, polls show President Obama averages a 15-point advantage in Washington over Republican rival Mitt Romney. Washington’s open race for governor is much closer. The two candidates in that contest met Tuesday night in Yakima for a fiery third debate. But the polls highlight a reality for Republican Rob McKenna: he’ll have to woo a good number of Obama voters if he’s to become Washington’s first G-O-P governor in nearly 30 years.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Toastmasters International is a public speaking club. But one of the most active Northwest chapters is in a place where its members can’t actually go out in public. We’re talking about the chapter based at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. The inmates who participate get the chance to practice their communications skills with a university debate team. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman went behind the walls of the maximum security prison for this report.

The candidates for Washington governor sparred over taxes and personal tax returns in their second official debate Wednesday night. The face-off took place on the Vancouver campus of Washington State University. Correspondent Austin Jenkins has highlights.

Southwest Washington is the setting for the second official debate of the 2012 governor’s race. Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee will face off Wednesday night on the Vancouver campus of Washington State University.

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