Democrat Dan Onorato accused his opponent, Republican Tom Corbett, of being in the pocket of natural gas drillers by refusing to consider any sort of tax on gas production in Pennsylvania.

Corbett, in turn, suggested that Onorato was little more than a tax-happy, spend-happy copy of the unpopular outgoing governor, Ed Rendell.

In their third and final televised debate Monday night, the two gubernatorial rivals from the Pittsburgh area took a few hard shots at each other with 15 days to go before the election.

But for the most part they were like fighters who already had met twice in the ring. They knew all of each other's moves, with neither able to land a heavy blow in an hour-long discussion at 6ABC in Philadelphia.

Asked afterward who had won the debate series, Corbett said, "The people of Pennsylvania are the winners. They got to see all of us; they heard our positions."

Onorato wouldn't tackle the issue of a winner or loser.

"I don't do that," he said. "I'll decide at 8 o'clock on Nov. 2," when election polls close.

On one new issue, the two men both said they would give consideration to a previously obscure bill in the state House that would eliminate school property taxes and replace the lost funds, in part, by extending the state sales tax to many items that are now excluded, such as prescription drugs and many services.

The bill was a favorite of state Rep. Sam Rohrer, Corbett's foe in the May GOP primary, but it hadn't come up prominently in the fall campaign.

Corbett said he liked the idea but didn't believe the bill, as currently written, would provide enough money for schools.

"I agree that the idea of a sales tax appears to be fair because it reaches to more people," Corbett said.

Onorato said he would consent to eliminating property taxes and widening the sale tax if it was put to voters in a statewide referendum, but he added, "If you want to get serious about property tax reform, that house legislation deserves serious consideration."

Gas drilling, a major issue in all of the debates, again took center stage.

Onorato favors a severance tax, saying he'd use the money for environmental purposes. Corbett opposes a tax, saying it would damage a fledgling industry that will provide hundreds of thousands of job in the state.

Onorato noted an independent report that Corbett has received more than $900,000 in political donations from drilling interests.

The Democrat himself has received about $400,000, but he said to Corbett: "You took more money from the gas and oil companies than any other candidate. That is why you're not pushing this tax....Your position is very extreme compared to where other states are."

Corbett saved his hardest shot at Onorato for his closing statement.

Recent polls indicate that only a third of state residents approve of the job Rendell is doing, though he is more popular in Philadelphia. Still, Corbett told the Philadelphia area viewing audience that if it wanted four more years of tax hikes, budget deficits and growing unemployment, "then I would select Dan Onorato" whom he called "Rendell-like."

With the race closing fast, Corbett leads in every recent public poll. A recent Rasmussen survey showed the Pittsburgh area Republican ahead by 14 points. But no one inside either the Onorato camp or Corbett camp has said he or she really believes the gap is anywhere near that wide.

Two recent Republican polls, including one done by Corbett's campaign, showed Corbett leading by four to seven points. If those numbers are accurate, Corbett sits in the driver's seat - or did before the debate - but the race is far from over.

Both campaigns are raising money furiously for final rounds of TV ads and get-out-the-vote efforts. Gov. Christie, who already has crossed the Delaware to make two public appearances for Corbett, is scheduled to attend a fund-raising event for Corbett Tuesday night at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue hotel in Center City Philadelphia. Organizers hope to raise $500,000 from the event.

Onorato on Monday received an endorsement from CeaseFirePA, a gun-violence prevention group based in Philadelphia. The group praised Onorato's pledge to close what it calls a "Florida loophole" that allows some people who are denied handgun-carrying permits in Pennsylvania, for character reasons, to obtain permits online from Florida. Corbett has rejected the term loophole, saying that in the case of gun-safety training, Florida's standards are more strict then Pennsylvania's.