Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Terry Phillips debate before on KGET

It's the only televised debate between the two candidates vying for the newly drawn 23rd Congressional District seat.

Election day is less than a month away. KGET is trying to make 'decision day' a little easier by hosting a series of debates with the candidates. The only debate between incumbent Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Independent challenger, Terry Phillips, will air this weekend. Both are running for the newly drawn 23rd Congressional District seat.

Moderated by 17's Jim Scott and Tami Mlcoch, the debate drew out the candidates' differences during the first subject, locking horns over the economy.

"We have to end the uncertainty to build a small business with access to capitol, argued Rep. Kevin McCarthy. "That's one of the bills I was able to pass this year of mine in the Jobs Act that the President actually signed. That's what we have to do to change course."

"I see the long-term solution to our economic problems right here at home in education," argued Phillips. "And, Mr. McCarthy voted to cut pell grants by 40 percent. I think that these policies have led to not only uncertainty, but increased unemployment."

Phillips often went after the Congressman's party affiliation during the debate.

"That's why I say my opponent is the problem as a leader of his party," said Phillips. "He puts party interest before our country's interest."

Meantime, the Congressman expressed his experience and questioned Phillips' validity.

"I like to have a debate, but I like to have a debate of facts, Terry," said the Congressman.

17 News Political Analysts Gene Tackett and Cathy Abernathy brought their own questions to the table. And, the candidates tackled other topics such as water, the budget, immigration, and high speed rail.

"High speed rail has a lot of pluses," said Phillips. "It has some challenges too. But, the fact is, this is something that will help us tremendously and not just here in the Central Valley. It will help the whole state."

"If you build this train and you go to bonds, you are going to have to cut the education system," said Congressman McCarthy. "So, if you want to cut schools to build a train that won't finish the process."

There were many differing views from the candidates, both hoping to win enough votes to win the newly drawn 23rd Congressional District seat.

"That's how I have learned to solve problems, by listening to people by being here when it matters," said Phillips.

"I'm not going to change my appearance," said Congressman McCarthy. "I'm not going to change my patriotism for my country just to run for office. And, I'm definitely not going to make up facts to hope you'll vote for me."

The McCarthy-Phillips debate is one-hour long. You can see it in its entirety Sunday night, October 14th on TV-17, immediately following Sunday night football around 8:30 p.m.

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