At their first debate Tuesday, Republican Ken Blackwell tried repeatedly to paint his opponent in the governor's race as a tax-raising liberal.
In their verbal slugfest in Youngstown, Democrat Ted Strickland worked to link Blackwell to a state government scandal.
The two major candidates for Ohio governor started by stressing their humble roots.
Blackwell spoke of his boyhood in Cincinnati public housing, while Strickland talked about growing up on a dirt road in eastern Ohio.
Then, it was time for taking shots at each other.
Blackwell said Strickland's plan is to raise taxes.
The Democrat tried to tie Blackwell to the corruption scandal that has tainted several G.O.P. officeholders, including Governor Taft.