Candidates in the race for the 14th District Congressional seat squared off yesterday afternoon.
ideastream®'s Rick Jackson reports.
One of the most diverse districts in the state, the14th reaches into seven counties in the northeast corner of Ohio, and includes urban and suburban areas, and rural farmlands.
Representative Steven LaTourette is seeking an eighth term in congress. He said he is extremely proud of his record, including his role in leading Cleveland's fight to save the federal Defense Accounting agency, and securing federal dollars for his home district.
STEVEN LATOURETTE: "I have literally brought home hundreds of millions of dollars to do things like a railroad bridge in Macedonia, water lines in Stow, an industrial park in Kinsman, when the floods destroyed condominiums in Painesville, made sure that millions of FEMA dollars came back to make those condominium owners whole."
LaTourette and his two challengers - Democrat Bill O'Neill, a former district judge, and Libertarian David Macko - debated topics ranging from universal health care, to immigration, to creating a ferry to Canada.
One of the sharpest challenges to the INCUMBENT came from an audience member, who asked why LaTourette had voted against the recent bank bail-out bill.
He responded that it was simply a bad bill.
LATOURETTE: "It was $700 billion of taxpayers money that could have been infused with private capital so it didn't cost the taxpayer. Because it was not a well thought out plan, because they did not adopt my amendment you have the opportunity to create winners and losers, like PNC over National City Bank and others. And that's going to continue."
Bill O'Neill was critical of laTourette's decision.
JUDGE WILLIAM O'NEILL: "We would have owned a portion of National City if the bailout bill had been properly guided by a member of Congress who had the ability to stand up and protect our 2,000 jobs."
While Libertarian David Macko felt all of congress had been deceived by the administration when it came to what it will cost America to fix banking.
DAVID MACKO: "This $850 billion figure comes from the same liars that told you the Iraq war would be $50 billion. Bernanke and Paulsen should be tried for treason"
All three men had supporters in the audience, but polls indicate LaTourette will likely have a comfortable victory.