Candidates face off: Gov. Scott Walker, Mary Burke meet in first debate

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The first of two debates between Wisconsin's gubernatorial candidates takes place on Friday, October 10th -- and you'll be able to watch the entire thing LIVE on FOX6 News and

After months on the campaign trail, Republican Governor Scott Walker, and Democratic challenger Mary Burke finally come face-to-face in their first debate. The debate will take place in the Mayo Auditorium in Eau Claire. It is scheduled to start at 7 p.m, and is expected to last one hour.

FOX6 News is told the format will be pretty simple. Moderator Jill Geisler, a Veteran Broadcast Journalist from the Milwaukee area, will be joined by a panel of journalists from western Wisconsin.

Each candidate will have a set time to answer questions, and also make a brief rebuttal. In terms of issues, expect jobs to be a big one.

Both sides have plenty of opportunities to get "jabs in" on this topic. Republicans have accused Mary Burke of copying and pasting her jobs plan from other Democrats across the country -- while Democrats have held Scott Walker to his 2010 campaign promise of adding 250,000 private sector jobs over his past term. Only about 103,000 have been added in that time.

The debate is sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

Though it was a cool October evening, it wasn't enough to calm the fiery debate that took place inside the Mayo Clinic Auditorium.

"The law in Wisconsin is simple, it's easy to vote but hard to cheat," said Governor, Scott Walker.

"There are 300,000 people in Wisconsin that could be hurt by this law," said Mary Burke.

The format is simple, moderated by veteran Milwaukee Broadcaster, Jill Geisler, questions came fast and furious from a panel of western Wisconsin journalists.

"What is one thing to create jobs that has not been done before?" asked Geisler.

"The one thin that I would do is reduce the cost of college," said Burke.

"If you look at the rate the three years my opponent has worked, half as many jobs, I don't want to go back to those failed policies," said Walker.

Not even half way through the debate, the conversation circled back to Act 10.

"What has this law accomplished, good or bad?" Geisler asked.

The controversial legislation passed by Governor Walker that led to recalls, and protests.

"The savings alone saved the taxpayers 3 billion dollars," said Walker.

"I agree, contributions are needed, what worries me is we are back to 1.8 billion dollar deficit," said Burke.

Both candidates were also asked, if elected, will you serve all four years in office. Burke said "absolutely," but the question seemed more directed toward Governor Walker -- who is often named as a potential presidential candidate. He said, he'd serve all four years.

The second debate is set for Friday, October 17th in Milwaukee. FOX6 News will carry that debate live as well. FOX6's Ted Perry will be on the panel questioning the candidates.