The final debate between candidates running for Minnesota Senate was held Sunday night in St Paul, Minnesota as DFL incumbent Tina Smith and her GOP challenger Karin Housley made their final pitches to voters.
The MPR debate, moderated by Cathy Wurzer, was held at Fitzgerald’s Theatre in downtown St Paul before a large crowd. Wurzer began the debate by pointing out that never before has Minnesota had two women running against each other for U.S. Senate.
The wage gap was a leading debate topic between the two candidates. Housley said she doesn’t believe in mandates on businesses to provide equal pay, arguing that the Women’s Economic Security Act has actually hurt women.
“Whenever you put women in their own category and don’t make them strong and tell them that, ‘We have to make laws because you aren’t equal to men’—-that’s the problem,” Housley said.
Smith said she supported the Women’s Economic Security Act when she was Lieutenant Governor.
“The idea that half of the population in this state or this country are not able to have the same opportunities and earn the same wages as men, it brings us all down,” Smith argued.
Regarding health care, Housley, who has been campaigning against ACA/Obamacare said the only way to get costs under control is to increase competition. Housley said Minnesota’s health care should not be a “single-payer, government-run socialized medicine.”
Smith said Congress should allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare recipients. She noted her early efforts in Washington to fight the ever increasing cost of prescription drugs. She also stated that said she wants minimum wage to be $15 per hour, which is a police Housley opposes.
On the topic of immigration, Housley slammed Smith repeatedly for wanting open borders, which she denied.
While Smith is a fill in candidate who replaced Al Franken, who resigned in disgrace following an accusation of sexual harassment, Housley has secured an endorsement from President Donald Trump.
The winner of Tuesday’s election will serve two years in the Senate, finishing Al Franken’s term.
Read more about these two candidates here.
WATCH THE DEBATE HERE.
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