PHOENIX — Democrats in the state of Arizona got their first side-by-side look at the candidates vying for their nomination for governor.

The Arizona Republic reports ( ) hundreds of Democrats filled an auditorium Saturday to hear state Sen. Steve Farley of Tucson and Arizona State University education-leadership professor David Garcia of Phoenix speak about everything from public education to Confederate monuments.

The one-hour forum, hosted by the Maricopa County Democratic Party, was the first of the 2018 cycle, kicking off Arizona Democrats’ first competitive primary for governor since 2002.

Both candidates took shots at current Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and the Republican-controlled Legislature for what they described as inadequate funding of public education and teachers, as well as the governor’s connections to the political network funded by the billionaire Koch brothers.