HAMILTON -- The race for the 22nd congressional district seat is getting heated as Rep. Claudia Tenney and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi faced off in a debate Thursday.
Both candidates touched on issues ranging from health care to tax cuts to immigration. With nearly 20 percent of Utica’s population being born outside of the U.S., the candidates discussed the impact that local immigrants have on the community as well as their policy decisions.
“To try to somehow attack republicans, or the president, and somehow saying that we are against legal immigrants and legal immigration, that’s not true,” Tenney said. “I’ve stood up at refugee centers all over the place. They’re very important to our economy and I’ve worked very hard on this issue.”
“The president wants to enhance border security, I want to enhance border security,” Brindisi said. “We also have to recognize that for law abiding immigrants who are here, who are playing by the rules, who are paying taxes, they should be allowed to earn citizenship. We can do all this if we can just come together and stop the extremes which have been driving the conversation.”
Flooding is an issue that affects the local area. Both candidates shared their take on disaster relief.
"There’s many people back in the Utica area, Whitesboro, the areas in New Hartford, Clinton that have been flooded over the last couple of years that have claims that need to be paid by their carriers,” Brindisi said. “They're not, and we shouldn’t be making it harder at the federal level because we're paying too much attention to the insurance industry which funds our campaign."
"When this flooding happened in 2013, in [the] Utica area, 2011 also” Tenney said. “2006 in the Binghamton area. We have been fighting to try to change FEMA to try to bring more resources. We haven't been successful on every case, but we've been in many."
The two candidates will go head to head in the midterm elections on November 6th.