With elections right around the corner, some residents in the new 22nd Congressional District get the chance to learn more about their candidates and ask questions. As our Elyse Mickalonis tells us, a debate between Democrat Dan Lamb and incumbent Republican Richard Hanna covered many hot issues providing voters the information they need for November.
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- As Election Day approaches some voters in Cortland gathered Saturday to hear a debate between two candidates running for the new 22nd Congressional District.
“I’m very pleased one of the first open debates was held here in Cortland County, I think we’re representative of the district. We have a higher education institution, we have cows we have farmers, we have a lot of issues for Congress to address,” said Jo Schaffer, Cortland resident.
Democrat Dan Lamb and incumbent Republican Richard Hanna took part in a debate at the Elks Lodge in Cortland. The two-hour debate covered many topics, from global warming to social security.
“The current congress has taken an agenda that’s very harsh on education spending, very harsh on healthcare spending, very harsh in terms of protecting the environment and what I was able to make clear is I don’t believe that’s the direction we need to go,” said Dan Lamb, (D) 22nd Congressional District Candidate.
Richard Hanna, (R) 24th Congressional District, added, “We focus most on things we can do a lot. Constituent services, we responded to almost 90,000 letters and we have 2,300 case files we have open, and we’re closing them each day. The national debt which is almost $400 million an hour is a big concern, it is a huge problem for this country, as everyone knows and STEM education is something I strongly believe in.”
One of the hot topics Hanna and Lamb disagreed on was The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Hanna said he would repeal it, while Lamb said he’s all for implementing. Audience members said they were glad to hear from both candidates in person and had the chance to ask questions.
“I do think the amount of information that was shared was very, very good and important for an educated voter to make an educated decision on election day,” said Schaffer.
Armed with more information about their candidates, voters may have an easier time making a choice come November. The debate was sponsored by the Cortland Women's Coalition and the Cortland Area Chamber of Commerce.