UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Democratic Incumbent Michael Arcuri and Republican Challenger Richard Hanna did more than just meet voters at the MVCC campus Tuesday night, they also told them why they're the best candidate for the job.
From jobs and the economy to education, in ninety minutes Arcuri and Hanna covered all the bases.
Audience members from the League of Women Voters to the Cancer Action Network of the American Cancer Society were anxious to hear what the candidates had to say.
Both candidates say they support government funding for cancer research, and that they are pro-choice.
Hanna spoke out about the disheartened voter and how the path to success is smaller government. "The problem with what Mr. Arcuri says is that every solution you will hear him say has some transfer of wealth from you, to the government, and back to you, we need to energize the private sector thats where people will go back to work," said Hanna.
Meanwhile Arcuri told audience members he has the vision and experience needed for building renewal. "That's the fundamental difference between what Mr. Hanna stands for and what I stand for. I believe that government works to make life better, its not the enemy, its not the person we attack all the time. He wants to tear it down I want to build it back up, thats the difference," said Arcuri.
Candidates also sparred over healthcare. "I get confused because he (Hanna) says we need health care to be competitive with the rest of the world, but he doesn't want health care, but he thinks health care it necessary. Richard, you can't vote "Maybe" in congress you vote Yes or No," said Arcuri. Hanna responded saying, "Michael, with all due respect you're on the rules committee, if you don't like some of this stuff why don't you vote against the leadership and try to change it."
The debate took another heated turn when it came to negative campaign ads. Both Hanna and Arcuri say the way they are depicted in commercials is not accurate.
Still the candidate that came out on top Tuesday, depends on who you ask. New Hartford resident Charles Caton thought Arcuri was the winner, "Probably Mike Arcuri was a little more polished but he's had more experience, and he should be able to do better than Mr.Hanna did."
But Ken Kruger of Rome disagreed saying, "I think Hanna beat him a little, I think people are really sick of government being too oppressive and taking away freedom."
The real winner will be decided November 2nd at the polls.