The three candidates seeking New York's 115th Assembly District stepped up to the podium to square off in a debate.
Janet Duprey is seeking a fourth term in Albany, but the Republican has two challengers trying to unseat her -- Democrat Tim Carpenter, a Plattsburgh City Councilor and Conservative Karen Bisso, a Plattsburgh City School teacher.
The three met in an hour long debate Monday hosted by Mountain Lake PBS. The top priority of all three -- creating jobs. And they all agree on a number of issues, from the need for mandate relief, to reworking the state's new evaluation system for teachers. But on other issues, like medical marijuana, they had strong differences.
"Why make these people suffer when we don't have to, I think it is half nuts to do that," Carpenter said.
"I have reached out to many of the people I know who are in the medical profession, they have told me they have not had patients in our district who have not been able to respond to drugs that are already available," Duprey said.
"I would like to take a canvas of the population and have a conversation -- see where this ends up and see where they would direct me to go on this issue," Bisso said.
Another topic that divided the candidates -- a proposal to bring commercial, non-Indian casinos to the empire state.
"There's no doubt there is a lot of money to be made -- a lot of income. The issue right now is the gaming compacts have fallen apart and the Native Americans are not sharing the receipts as they are required to do under those compacts," Duprey said.
"We have established ourselves with the Mohawk Tribe -- Akwesasne. I think we honor those compacts," Bisso said.
"If it's regulated, it creates jobs and brings in tax dollars," Carpenter said.)
The candidates also weighed in on the controversial practice of hydrofracking, a form of drilling for natural gas. It involves using chemicals to blast into rock, and in some parts of the country it has impacted drinking water.
"There are definitely benefits that can be brought out of it, but there are definitely negatives. You have to weigh the two against each other," Carpenter said.
"I will support hydrofracking for the natural gas benefits the country and state will receive, it's huge," Duprey said.
"I am also in support of hydrofracking as a means of bring jobs into the state," Bisso said.
Others issues discussed -- raising the state's minimum wage, the ten economic regional councils, state land swaps and a proposal by the Cuomo administration for a new health care exchange.
You can catch the entire hour long debate Monday at 8 p.m. on Mountain Lake PBS.
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