MOORHEAD (AP) - Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican challenger Jeff Johnson began their second debate by sparring over the relationship between the Twin Cities and far-flung parts of the state.

Wednesday night's debate in Moorhead also included Independence Party candidate Hannah Nicollet.

Johnson told the northwestern Minnesota crowd that outlying areas have been "largely an afterthought" with the Dayton administration and that he has a greater appreciation for those residents because he's from Detroit Lakes.

Dayton responded that he has spent more time than Johnson traveling around the state in the last 20 years.

Johnson and Dayton were also at odds over taxes, an oil pipeline, the new Minnesota Vikings stadium and economic growth compared with neighboring states.

Dayton maintains a comfortable lead in polls, but Johnson's team says the race will tighten.