"Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek received mixed reviews after moderating Pennsylvania's gubernatorial debate, including from one publication that deemed the forum a "dumpster fire."

The Hershey forum aired Monday, wherein Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and former state senator and businessman Scott Wagner (R-York) faced off ahead of the November election.

Trebek started the debate with a trivia question about Philadelphia Eagles lineman Chris Long, the son of Fox Sports host Howie Long.

Trebek later joked about the state's gerrymandering controversy, quipping that he drove 50 miles in one direction and yet crossed through one lawmaker's district "half a dozen times."


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He received boos and criticism for some of his lengthy questions and banter, drawing jeers for a joke he made about the Catholic Church's pedophilia scandal in the state.

Trebek reacted by noting his own education in a Catholic school system in Canada where boys and priests interacted daily without issue.

The York Daily Record -- which is the hometown newspaper for both Wolf and Wagner -- called the debate a "dumpster fire" and said Trebek spent too much time "waxing philosophical."

The paper called for a "do-over" debate between the two men in their home county.

At the same time, other political observers in Pennsylvania praised Trebek's style and in-depth research of the issues he pressed Wolf and Wagner on.

"His tough questions, and harsh criticisms of both politics and zingers, showed he did his homework on the issues and candidates before flying to Hershey," Allentown Morning Call political reporter Steve Esack wrote of Trebek's performance.

Trebek later gave a self-deprecating review to a local CBS affiliate, saying that Wagner supporters are probably still Wagner supporters after the debate, and vice versa, while the number of Trebek supporters "may be questionable."

Wolf said Pennsylvania is better off and largely more financially stable since he took office in 2015. Wagner repeatedly criticized Wolf for his cozy relationship with several unions and their leadership:

"[T]he House and Senate sent a comprehensive pension bill to the governor and he vetoed it. Because the government employee unions didn't want the change," Wagner said.

Wagner previously readily accepted the endorsement of President Trump, while former President Obama recently endorsed Wolf.

Hemmer said Wagner is greatly trailing Wolf, who leads 53-37 in the Real Clear Politics polling average.


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