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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


McSally, Barber spar amid rowdy crowd

Christianna Silva

Congressional candidates Democrat Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally debate in Sierra Vista, Ariz., on Tuesday. The economy and Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista’s military base, were focal points in the evening’s debate.

SIERRA VISTA — The  crowd in attendance got rowdy as second congressional candidates Democrat Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally debated issues local to here and Arizona.

The candidates discussed the economy, bipartisanship and issues surrounding Fort Huachuca, the military base in Sierra Vista.McSally started off the debate by saying the most important issue today is the economy, and that she plans to decrease the unemployment rate and increase economic growth by utilizing government spending.

Barber agreed with McSally and said he also believed the economy to be the most important issue today. He said if voters were to look at his record, they would notice a trend in his attempts to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

McSally combatted Barber’s argument when she said she questions whether the economy is better now than it was three years ago when Barber was last voted in. The crowd applauded and cheered in agreement.

When the topic of bipartisanship came up, both candidates said they were more than willing to work with the other party.

Barber said it doesn’t matter if the citizens voted for him or not, but that he would represent his constituents.

“That’s why I went into Congress,” Barber said. “I’m here to represent my community. We cannot have this political divide. People are sick of it. So am I.”

McSally said she agrees with Barber that the political divide should be condemned. She also said she will continue to look for issues that bring the two parties together and that she plans to do something to work toward bipartisanship instead of “just watching and complaining.”

Both candidates agreed a larger military is needed within the limits of their budget and that includes the funding of Fort Huachuca. McSally and Barber said they are deeply connected with the community in Fort Huachuca.

Barber said in his record he has proved his support of the military base, including saving the electronic proving ground. He also said he will continue to do all he can to help Fort Huachuca.

Water usage on Fort Huachuca and the San Pedro River has become a topic of discussion in the second congressional district.Barber said preserving the river is an important issue to him and that he has worked toward water efficiency on the base and will continue to do so.

“Save the river, save the fort,” Barber said.

McSally also said the river is an important aspect of the base, but she said she believes it should be directed locally. McSally continuously pointed out that she believes a smaller federal government and more locally-driven projects help feed the economy and jobs.

In their closing statements, McSally said the ads being run against her are “literally all lies” and “just bull.” She asked voters who are still undecided not to be “moved by fear” with these ads. She said she decided to run for office as a continuation of her service to this country.

“I would be honored to represent you,” McSally said as her final words.

Barber also made his closing statement.

“This is my home,” Barber said. “This is the place I love. This is where my children have grown up.”

Barber also alluded to a game show called “To Tell the Truth” when he asked, “Will the real Martha McSally please stand up?” The crowd then booed him.


Follow Christianna Silva on Twitter.

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