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Gubernatorial Debate Takes Center Stage In San Diego

Democratic candidates running for California governor debate on stage, Feb. 2...

Photo by Jade Hindmon

Above: Democratic candidates running for California governor debate on stage, Feb. 22,1 2018.

From taxes to gun violence the topics up for debate Thursday night were issues we are all talking about and each candidate seemed to echo one another.

The four Democrats running to replace California Governor Jerry Brown faced off in a debate in San Diego Thursday evening, with topics ranging from to gun violence.

Two of the candidates stopped to talk to KPBS and share their ideas about what they can bring to California. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa focused on the economy first.

RELATED: State Treasurer John Chiang Discusses His Run For California Governor

“I think they're looking for a governor that's going to focus on the economy... someone who’s going to make sure that if you're working hard and playing by the rules, you ought to have a better life,” said Villaraigosa.

For former superintendent of public instruction Delaine Eastin, ending the school to prison pipeline is a top issue.

“It’s really time we change the conversation and stop having Cadillac prisons and jalopy schools,” said Easton.

So where will each candidate focus their attention as governor?

“We ought to be able to address a housing crisis that’s made it almost impossible for people to buy a home. It's impossible for most of us to rent or buy a home. It seems to me that people here in San Diego, a place I know very well, are looking for that kind of candidate” said Villaraigosa.

“We've actually raised taxes a lot but there's still a lot of things we can and should be doing for our schools and our children if we raise corporate taxes around property,” said Eastin.

Between fixing the housing crisis and raising corporate taxes, both candidates say integrity and diversity will have to be embraced by the next Governor of California.

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“There’s probably nothing more important than integrity, honesty and character in our leaders. Too many people are turned off to politics and politicians and one of the reasons why is because not enough of them understand that public service is an honor,” said Villaraigosa.

“I really do think it’s time we start electing more women to office. I'm not saying I should be elected because I’m a woman. I’m saying I'm the most qualified candidate and for some people, I'm invisible because I'm a female," said Eastin.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and State Treasurer John Chiang were also at the debate but were not able to speak to KPBS at the event.

All four candidates are scheduled to attend the State's Democratic Party Convention in San Diego.

Each candidate says they want a better future for California and each candidate has a different idea on how to achieve that.

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