BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Early voting starts a week from now in Maryland, and the finals debates of the 2014 gubernatorial campaign are on tap. The candidates for lieutenant governor hashed out issues in a radio debate Thursday.

Pat Warren talked to both of them.

Gubernatorial running mates Ken Ulman of the Brown-Ulman ticket and Boyd Rutherford of Hogan-Rutherford on WAMU-FM dug into the gun control issue that has dominated the campaign lately.

“Yeah, we’re being called dangerous and we’re going to put guns in the playgrounds and in shopping carts and things of that nature,” said Rutherford. “The position is pretty simple: we are not going to roll back any of the laws–the gun laws–in the state of Maryland.”

But Brown running mate Ken Ulman argued it’s important for voters to know what Hogan said in a National Rifle Association questionnaire.

“Just release the NRA questionnaire. Let us know what you promised the NRA. The voters deserve to know that,” Ulman said.

Hogan running mate Boyd Rutherford accuses the Brown campaign of avoiding the real issues.

“Don’t believe the hype. It’s just negative ads. They’re not talking about the real issues that affect Marylanders,” he said.

Recent polls give Anthony Brown a less than 10 point lead over Larry Hogan. Now with election day just 19 days away, the heat is on–and so is the focus.

“The number one issue that we hear throughout the state, and it doesn’t matter if we’re on the Eastern Shore or in Baltimore City or in Prince George’s or Montgomery County, is taxes and jobs,” Rutherford said. “And that’s what we’ve been talking about from day one. That’s what Larry’s been talking about for the last year.”

“We always knew this was going to be a competitive race, but the only poll that matters is the one on November 4,” said Ulman. “And we’re excited about what we’re seeing, we’re feeling the momentum out in every corner of Maryland and 19 days to go.”

The Maryland candidates for governor meet next on Saturday for a televised debate at Maryland Public Television.

Less than three weeks to go before election day. Stay with WJZ for complete coverage of all the candidates and key issues.

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