Updated 10/24/2012 09:00 PM
27th Congressional District candidates spar in YNN debate
It was a heated debate between the two candidates vying for New York State's newly-redrawn 27th District. Kathy Hochul and Chris Collins squared off in an exclusive YNN debate.
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WEST SENECA, N.Y. — In a battle of two veteran politicians, Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Hochul and former Erie County Executive Republican Chris Collins addressed the issues, and took jabs at one another during a YNN debate Wednesday.
The two differ on health care, job creation, and ways to move Western New York forward.
And the race has gotten personal, with the candidates questioning one another's finances, and transparency.
"You have said that you didn't think the voters of this district could understand - it was too complex for them to absorb - your 25 pages of tax returns. So why do you think you should be held to a lower standard than others just because you don't think the voters of this district can understand your taxes?" asked Rep. Hochul, (D).
"I did disclose my personal tax rate, what my income was; there's nothing there that there is to hide. But I'm not going to release my companies' individual income, and put my companies in jeopoardy by providing my competitors with information," said Collins, (R).
The new 27th District covers all or a portion of eight different counties across the state, and it's a huge race on the national level, with Super PACs backing their own candidates.
Attack ads also took center stage during the debate. Collins says one of the ads, claiming he fired 115 people at Buffalo China, is so off-base it should be pulled from air. Hochul stands behind it.
"It's so egregious. Mrs. Hochul has crossed a line between misrepresentation and distortion into lying. That's an important distinction to see," Collins said.
"3:25 on Friday, 115 left, and in fact, that company's lost even more jobs since you've been in charge - of course that's a whole different issue," said Hochul.
While the two are far apart on most things, as Western New Yorkers, they did come to the same conclusion on a sports-related wrap-up question: More heartbreaking - wide right or no goal?
The candidates say they plan to continue campaigning hard until Election Day. That's less than two weeks away, on Tuesday, November 6th.