LEWISBURG (WVDN) – The West Virginia Daily News held their 2022 House and Senate Debate to a raucous crowd on Thursday evening, Oct. 27.
With House District 46 candidate Mike Honaker and House District 47 candidate Heather Hill not in attendance, District 46 candidate Paul Detch (D) faced off with District 47 incumbent Todd Longanacre (R) in the first debate of the evening.
Focusing on abortion, education, economy, climate change, and gun control, the two opposing candidates’ arguments were aligned with party lines.
Longancre praised road work and Republican’s work to reduce the deficit in Charleston, while also speaking out in favor of Amendments 2 and 4 which are on the ballot in the Nov. 8 general election.
Detch pushed back against Longanacre’s description of the state’s successes, highlighting that the state is losing 7,000 people per year due to lack of jobs and conservative policies.
Regarding abortion, Longanacre stated he would never support “killing babies,” while Detch recalled his personal experience with the death of his child who was born with a genetic disorder, stating that mothers need the opportunity to decide whether to have an abortion when faced with a child who will be born with such a disorder.
The two argued over the semantics of the current law and whether “nonviable fetus” language in the law is expansive enough.
As long as abortion is illegal in West Virginia, Detch said, “we need money for social services,” and as long as we have Republican leadership, he said, it won’t be done.
Longanacre countered that Republican leadership is working to finance foster care and streamline adoption.
The two also disagreed along party lines regarding climate change and the need to balance clean air and potable water with upholding business interests and coal mining, but the discussion was nuanced.
The gun control debate was also nuanced given the rural culture of hunting in West Virginia. Detch, true to his party, wished for more gun control, while Longanacre said mental illness is the cause of America’s gun death problem.
“The 2nd Amendment is my Bible,” said Longanacre.
In part two of the debate, Senate District 10 candidates faced off. Sen. Stephen Baldwin, the incumbent Democrat, debated Republican challenger Vince Deeds and Independent Aaron Ransom.
Ransom’s opening statement highlighted his choice to be an Independent candidate and his ability to “fill the gap” between the parties in Charleston.
Deeds encouraged the audience to “listen for the truth,” while Baldwin highlighted the work he has done in Charleston in his time serving West Virginia.
The West Virginia Daily News will publish an expanded article on the debate later in the day.
|Sen. Stephen Baldwin at Thursday night’s debate|
|Republican State Senate candidate Vince Deeds|
|Independent State Senate candidate Aaron Ransom|
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