Local Debates for Congress and Sheriff

By: Chip Brewster Email
By: Chip Brewster Email

LENA (WIFR) -- Election season is in full swing and tonight candidates for two local races squared off in front of the public for the first time.

If you've been watching our airwaves you can tell from all of the political ads that the politicians are just getting started.

For the first time our congressional candidates went head to head in front of a local tea party. Democratic candidate George Gaulrapp and Republican incumbent Don Manzullo rarely looked at each other tonight as a moderator for the Stephenson County Tea Party battered them with questions.

They answered rapid fire yes / no and multiple choice questions then had a chance to explain their answers. Tea party questions covered a variety of topics including taxes, abortion and eminent domain.

The two candidates were in agreement over many of the questions however differences arose when it came to immigration and education.

"Something has to be done to stop the abuse that's taking place with these anchor babies," said Manzullo.

"This is part of the United State's constitution. If you're born in the United States you have the right, the privilege to love this country and be a United State's citizen," said Gaulrapp.

"Just get rid of the Department of Education. The money that they would spend there, hey, just give it back to the states," said Manzullo.

Gaulrapp's response to the question about the Department of Education -- he says the department is necessary to ensure that all states are educating in similar ways to meet a set standard.

The tea party is well-known to be more Republican minded and as such Manzullo won far more cheers from the crowd. You can see the two candidates duke it out live without crowd bias right here on October 18th at 6pm.

There was another first time debate tonight. Candidates for Stephenson County Sheriff also faced the tea party. Both received about the same reaction with the biggest difference between them being their experience for the job.

"The sheriff's position is more a managerial job than anything else. It's dealing with leadership, it's dealing with management and it's dealing with the budget. And I'm an accountant, a CPA and a doctor," said candidate Tim Clay.

"32 years law enforcement, almost 21 years with the Freeport Police Department and the last 11, 12 years as sheriff," said current sheriff David Snyders.

Clay adds while he doesn't have any law enforcement experience he is confident that he would learn quickly if elected.

(Chip Brewster is available via email AND facebook... feel free to shoot him a message or friend him at any time)

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  • by Duane Location: Freeport on Sep 10, 2010 at 11:27 AM
    Don Manzullo will definitely have my vote. With being from Freeport and experiencing first hand what Gaulrapp has done to Freeport, my mind on who to vote for was made up during the early part of Gaulrapps first term as mayor. One only has to look in the stories of the local media and see how he has tried to deny the citizens of Freeport their constitutional rights to vote on the city manager referendum, and is still considering on appealing the city councils decision. One would only have to look at how many times Gaulrapp has raised taxes on the already over taxed citizens of Freeport through his Home Rule powers. One would only have to look at local media stories to see how he touts that his administration is open and transparent, and then he keeps the doors closed when someone wants some information. Just ask the Freeport Journal Standard, Gaulrapp told his staff not to talk to reporters and to not give them any information just not too long ago. One needs only to read to see truth.
  • by Uncle Red Location: A Safe Place on Sep 10, 2010 at 07:00 AM
    The time to send Manzullo packing is long overdue. You know, the guy who said he would serve no more than two terms and then quit, and the same guy who backed NAFTA, which sent jobs fleeing the country in huge numbers. Manzullo is a bigger part of the problem than the solution! Gaulrapp got my vote the day he announced he was running for the office!
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