Enyart & Bost battle in Belleville congressional debate

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) - The candidates for Illinois` 12th Congressional District seat met for a second and final debate Wednesday night in Belleville.

Along with incumbent first-term Democratic Party Congressman Bill Enyart, and his Republican challenger, State Representative Mike Bost of Murphysboro, the debate also included Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw of Carbondale.

Despite the negativity of the Enyart and Bost campaigns, the debate was civil in tone, but the differences between the congressman and the challenger are stark.

Among the questions: Should local police departments be using heavy duty military equipment?

"Obviously we don`t need tanks, we don`t need Tiananmen Square here in Belleville`s square," Enyart said, adding "I think you have to balance what the equipment is and what the needs of the city are," he said.

Bost replied: "I think the opportunity to provide them with many things that they cannot afford is the right way to handle this as we deal with sometimes unfortunately, terrorism on the street; not in the case of what we have nearby but just in the concerns we have in local law enforcement," Bost said.

And then of course there was Ebola and the question about whether the president should order a travel ban.

"If you shut down all the flights then somebody from Liberia is just going to go to Barcelona or Rome and fly to the U.S., and we don`t have any way of tracking those folks," Enyart said.

Bost holds the opposite view.

"I do believe a travel ban would be appropriate and it is within (Obama`s) power," Bost said, adding, "we`ve got to make sure to control the influx back in."

There is so much interest in the contest between congressman Bill Enyart and challenger Mike Bost that outside groups are spending twice as much on this race as the candidates themselves.

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