The republican and democratic nominees for governor each offered their focus on where they would take California, if elected.
After being forced for days to defend a female aide's characterization of Meg Whitman as a "whore" in an inadvertently recorded voicemail, Jerry Brown apologized to his opponent.
"It's unfortunate. I'm sorry it happened. I apologize."
But Whitman didn't really accept the apology.
"So Jerry. It's not just me. It's the people of California who deserve better than slurs and personal attacks."
Brown points out that the conversation in the voicemail was about a police union endorsement for Whitman in exchange for exempting them in her pension reform plan.
"The fact that you got the endorsement of that union and I didn't because they know I'd be too tough on unions and public employee pensions."
But Whitman didn't escape her own scandal with the moderator questioning her tough stand on immigration, yet employing then firing an undocumented housekeeper.
"It broke my heart, but I had to fire her. I had to let her go," said Whitman.
"After working for 9 years, she didn't even get her a lawyer, at least I could tell you that could be done," said Brown.
The only major gaffe of the evening came from Brown, who wanted to show that he too had law enforcement endorsements.
Brown: "I've got the police chiefs in my back -- backing me because they know I'm tough in crime."
Whitman: " I think he said he's got the police chiefs in his back pocket."
Brown: "No. I have their backing."
During the debate, an electronic posting appeared on the Secretary of State's website. Whitman gave her campaign another $20 million dollars, bringing her personal contribution to almost $141 million, a record for self-financing.
Here in the valley some students took a different approach while watching the debate. Students from the University of Phoenix in Northeast Fresno watched the two candidates square off as part of Scott Cain's economy class.
Cain asked them to focus on how each of them fared solely based on business and jobs issues. Some say the economy hits very close to home.
"There's a personal level and there's a state level. At the personal level we're struggling," said student Mohammed Kabeer. "Right now there's a lot of students at University of Phoenix who are unemployed so I know that's going to be an issue as to which candidate has a stronger stance of job creation," said Professor Scott Cain.
On the political front some students think Meg Whitman's comments on government spending were better than her opponents while others believe Attorney General Jerry Brown came out on top when it came to immigration reform.