WATERLOO, IL. (KTVI) – Candidates squared off in Waterloo Illinois for a debate to replace retiring congressman Jerry Costello.
Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw stood next to Democratic nominee Bill Enyart who was next to Republican nominee Jason Plummer.
The candidates differed on a variety of topics but each one seemed to have certain themes they repeated.
Plummer voiced opposition for the Affordable Care Act he referred to as, "Obamacare" and stressed his support for lowering taxes for businesses that create jobs.
Enyart supported the Affordable Care Act and argued that the deficit cannot be reduced by lowering taxes. He felt the wealthy could pay more taxes to fund infrastructure projects.
Bradshaw was also critical of any tax reductions and felt economic policy should take a back seat to policies that would sustain natural resources.
Each candidate felt term limits could be both good and bad. Enyart said he preferred limiting the amount of time any one congressman could serve has chairman of a committee.
Plummer said he would vote for term limits and supported redistricting reform.
Each candidate tried to use their personal background to win over voters.
"I have commanded the Illinois National Guard ran a federal budget of $650 million," said Enyart.
"As a businessman and an intelligence officer with the Naval Reserves I think I understand the 12th congressional district and I know I will represent the entire 12th congressional district."
There was one spirited exchange over taxes. Enyart criticized Plummer for not releasing several years of tax returns. Plummer questioned why Enyart would accept support from democrats who have not released their returns.
Bradshaw called republicans and democrats, "corporate candidates." She argued that voting for the green party was the only way to change Washington. "The corporate candidates are bought and sold by the corporations," said Bradshaw.
The debate was sponsored by the Republic-Times and held at Waterloo High School.