WATCH: Vermont Republican congressional primary debate

WCAX GOP Congressional Debate
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 2:09 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 8:56 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The three candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Vermont’s lone congressional seat met in a debate Wednesday night on WCAX ahead of the primary election.

Ericka Redic, Anya Tynio and Liam Madden all want your vote on Tuesday.

Redic is a Burlington-based accountant who hosts the online podcast “Generally Irritable.” She ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2020.

Tynio is a consultant from Charleston who ran for Congress in 2018. She serves as the Orleans County committeewoman to the state Republican Party

Madden is a Marine veteran and antiwar advocate from Bellows Falls who works in the solar industry. He’s running as an independent.

The candidates squared off and fielded questions on topics ranging from inflation to abortion to foreign policy in Ukraine to the future of the Republican Party.

On inflation, Redic says the federal government should reduce the power of the federal reserve.

“I would love to see Congress repeal the Federal Reserve Act,” Redic said.

Tynio stresses the need to reduce federal spending and grow the tax base.

“We need to stop spending money on Democrat wish lists and start spending money wisely,” Tynio said.

Madden says he would tackle the prices at the pump by ramping up energy production and allocating it to sectors of the economy where it’s needed.

On climate change, Tynio says the U.S. needs to study its cost further, Madden wants to invest in regenerative agriculture, while Redic wants to reboot nuclear energy.

“Let’s not offshore our pollution, let’s create real solutions,” Redic said.

The candidates were also asked about their place in the Republican Party and how they describe the Jan. 6 riot. Madden and Tynio say it was not an insurrection.

“Absolutely people who came in with the intention to cause violence and harm and to disrupt the democratic process,” Madden said.

Tynio says coverage of the riot is distracting from issues facing Vermonters.

“I think it’s inaccurately being reported on and is being used to interfere in the 2022 midterms,” Tynio said.

In their final pitch to voters before Tuesday’s primary, Redic touts her accounting skillset and wants Vermonters to give a Republican a chance in the Capitol.

“Full democratic rule in Washington is not working,” she said.

Madden says his goal is to reset America’s political conversation and break down the two-party system.

“The economy we want, the environment we want and the people we want to become all flow from that choice,” Madden said.

Tynio pitches herself as a change from the status quo who will stand up for the interests of Vermont in Washington.

“I will fight against the overinflation and the unaffordability we are facing,” Tynio said.

WCAX News commissioned a recent poll from the University of New Hampshire which also covered the Republican Primary. It showed that all three candidates were essentially neck and neck, but over half of potential Republican voters-- 58%-- were undecided.

You can watch a replay of the live debate in the player below.

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