NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's two Republican gubernatorial hopefuls sparred in their first televised debate, with one trying to paint himself as an experienced leader and the other positioning himself as a political outsider.

Businessman Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung met for an hour-long debate at the Providence Performing Arts Center that was aired live on WPRI-TV. The station sponsored the event with The Providence Journal.

Fung painted Block as the more liberal candidate, invoking his past votes for President Obama. He said he's undertaken "real reforms with real results."

Block, who founded the state's Moderate Party, held himself up as a political outsider. He said only such an outsider can "fix" what's wrong in the economically struggling state.

Democratic Gov. Lincoln Chafee is not seeking re-election.


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