District 1 Congressional Candidates Spar in Their Debate

 Twitter:  @markcurtisABC6

The debate got feisty at times, at the Laurel Mead retirement community.

The candidates from Congressional District 1 differing sharply on key issues.

Most prominent, the ISIS terrorist threat and whether President Obama needs to send ground troops in addition to air strikes.

“I do think that we have to resist very strongly, ground troops, and we to resist very strongly, engaging another civil war in a sectarian conflict halfway around the world,” said Rep. David Cicilline, (D) Rhode Island.

But his challenger, Cormick Lynch (R) disagrees saying, “They are an existential threat and we need to do what we have to do to kill the enemy.”

Q: And that might mean ground troops?

“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Lynch said.

As for the Ebola crisis, neither candidate favors any international travel ban – at least for now.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “Congressman Cicilline has faced two tough Republican challengers in his past Congressional races, and this year his Democratic opponent in the primary got 38 percent of the vote without hardly campaigning at all.”

The 2014 candidates agree the economy is the key issue, though they differ on how to fix it.

“Growing the economy, strengthening the middle class. We don’t need another Republican vote for tax cuts for the wealthy, for billions in dollars in subsidies for big oil,” said Congressman Cicilline.

“We need to have a favorable tax structure to drive private sector investment and turn our economy around. Is that going to happen overnight? No,” said Republican challenger Lynch.

Cicilline has held public office for 20 years.

Lynch – a Marine veteran – is a first time candidate.