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Blackwell, Strickland trade barbs over taxes, scandal

At their first debate Tuesday, Republican Ken Blackwell tried repeatedly to paint his opponent in the governor's race as a tax-raising liberal.

Just as often, Democrat Ted Strickland worked to link Blackwell to a state government scandal.

As they debated in Youngstown, Blackwell called his opponent "a tax increaser" whose plan as governor would be to raise taxes.

The Republican Secretary of State also negatively compared Strickland to Republican Governor Taft, whom Blackwell has criticized for raising taxes.

But Strickland said his Republican rival represents a continuation of the "Taft-Blackwell way of governing."

The Democrat raised the state's ongoing corruption scandal that has tainted Taft and other GOP officeholders. (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)