Oct 10, 2012 1:39 AM
TUCSON - Congressman Raul Grijalva is facing two female challengers for his seat come November.
All three squared off in a debate Tuesday night. The five-term Democrat matched wits, at Pima College West, with Republican Gabriela Saucedo-Mercer, a former defense industry worker, and Air Force vet Blanca Guerra, the Libertarian candidate.
It was a full house with a police presence. At times, the audience booed and cheered, but the moderator kept the debate moving and on point.
It lasted about an hour and a half.
At the Proscenium Theater, each candidate was given 90 seconds to speak on any given topic.
What made the debate unique, was many of the questions came from the audience.
Topics included jobs, the war in Afghanistan and border issues.
One question dealt with drug and immigration policies, and how each candidate feels on the issue.
Congressman Raul Grijalva says, "one of the things we can't do at the border is create the hysteria that we can't do anything about it, unless we build a seven-layer fence. The reality is, we need a policy that's comprehensive."
Libertarian Blanca Guerra says, "There is also the lack of attention to the cartels and their ability to come over, take our weapons and use them against us."
"Mr. Grijalva talks about comprehensive immigration reform and again we can't address that issue until the borders are secure," says Republican Gabriela Saucedo-Mercer. "Mr. Grijalva is always busy declaring wilderness areas that only serve as sanctuaries for the drug cartels."
When the three met up for a debate last month in Rio Rico, things got heated with accusations being thrown.
It was a much different mood Tuesday.
This was the final debate for these candidates, ahead of the November 6th election.