Posted 11:07 PM 5/23/2012 : CD 8 debate gets heated
TUCSON - The battle for the vacant CD 8 seat heated up on Wednesday during the only true debate scheduled.
Jesse Kelly, Ron Barber, and Charlie Manolakis squared off in front of hundreds who gathered at the Jewish Community Center.
Right out of the gate the candidates were at a disagreement. The first issue was taxes.
"We want to extend the Bush tax cuts," Kelly said. "It has to be priority number one." Barber on the other hand said, "I will never vote for a tax increase for the middle class, but people on the richer end of the spectrum do need to pair their fair share."
Then the most talked about issue was social security.
"We cannot abandon a program that has worked successfully for 75 years and has much more life in it," Barber said.
Kelly disagrees. He hopes to make some changes, particularly giving the younger generations more of a choice. He said, "WE are land of the free. We do as we please in this nation. The government exists to protect our liberty. Freedom is what allows us to be great, not government that allows us to be do certain things."
Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis chimed in with his thoughts on the issue. He said, "I would move to take the fraud out of social security, take fraud out of Medicare, out of Medicaid to save millions and billions of dollars."
Perhaps the most entertaining part of the night was when the candidates got to ask questions.
Barber asked Kelly why he's changed his position on social security. Kelly sort of skirted the question, and went back to talking about options and choices.
Kelly then asked Barber the simple question of who would he vote for President in the November. Barber refused to answer saying that's his vote and they should stay focused on this election.
In the end candidates say they felt good about the debate, but they continue to point fingers saying the other candidates are just misleading the voters.
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