Decision 2012

Oct 24, 2012 3:43 AM by Rebecca Taylor

CD2 candidates meet in final debate

TUCSON - With 14 days left until the election, Congressman Ron Barber and opponent Martha McSally met for one last debate.

Both want to represent the newly-formed Congressional District two.

McSally, is a retired Colonel in US Air Force. Barber has held the spot since June, when he won a special primary election.

Tuesday night they met on the UA campus.

Hot topics included health care and jobs.

Before the debate even began, those with political interests lined the streets surrounding the university.

Holding signs and chanting their candidate's name, folks lined Speedway hoping to sway undecided voters.

Inside the grand ball room, it was a packed house, with the student body making a large showing.

With that, University President Katy Murray pitched the candidates a question on jobs, tailored for those entering the workforce.

Congressman Ron Barber says, "I've been a small business owner with my wife, I know what it takes to run and operate a small business. And I want more of that for others. When we have that situation we'll have jobs for students and they won't have to leave their community to get jobs elsewhere."

Opponent Martha McSally said, "seven of ten jobs come from small business, and we need the federal government to stop with more mandates and higher taxes which will suffocate our small business."

While McSally and Barber agree on the importance of nurturing small businesses, the topic of affordable healthcare was a different story.

"Look I believe firmly and I know we can all agree that patients, their families and doctors need to be the people making healthcare decisions, not the government, not the secretary of health and human services and certainly not a 15 person board of un-elected bureaucrats," said McSally.

Barber said, "enrollment in Medicare advantage programs has gone up, so obviously something is working that's the opposite of what my opponent would lead you to believe. People need to have choices."

All and all, the audience was calm and the candidates, respectful of each other.

Even as so-called political attack ads played, giving both Barber and McSally an opportunity to clarify any misconstrued information.

There is also a libertarian write-in candidate in the CD-2 race. Anthony Prowell did not participate in Tuesday's debate.

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