Here's the LD26 debate for the benefit of those living as I do in that district:
A few quick points:
The two Republican candidates (well the Senate candidate, Dale Eames is really running as an independent), are just citizens of the community, to use their words, who had to be talked into running largely because no one else would. Eames literally decided to run at the very last minute and scrambled to get the necessary signatures. Neither have much in the way of political experience. The Democrats, by contrast, have a stronger grasp of the technicalities of each issue.
In the debate, of the Republicans, James Roy did make one really good point that I wish would have gotten vetted better, that increased access costs are squeezing funding for schools. We can't fund everything, keep tax rates low and close are coming deficits - a few brief mentions on the looming deficits were mentioned, but mostly only by Andrew Sherwood.
I'm not one to enjoy a fight (ok, maybe a little), but I want the candidates to go at each other a little bit, I want views to be challenged and defended, but very little of that went on in this debate. There was a lot of agreement around more laws to prosecute animal cruelty (I wish there would have been more representation to the idea that we tend to over-punish reflexively).
Andrew Sherwood come off a little arrogant to me. Very knowledgeable and passionate. I'm not sure how he behaves with his colleagues and there's a place for a bull dog, but an ounce of humility wouldn't hurt. I'm not sure if that was more of a performance?
Juan Mendez showed the most humility of three democrats which is good. He made some really good points about lobbyists and legislative pay. He's young and I doubt he's making much on the side, so he's really trying to squeak by on the legislative salary which is tiny.
Ed Ableser apparently has no campaign website? I guess he doesn't need one this go around. He was easily the most experienced and knowledgeable. Has strong command of the issues and seemed the most comfortable with the debate. He has impressive credentials, but he misses a lot of time in the Senate, though this likely has a lot to do with the Senate salary requiring an active professional life, his family obligations, and the fact that Democrats don't have much of a voice in the legislature currently.
I expect the Democrats to win easily. I know James Roy personally. He used to be a member of my church congregation. He admitted nerves, early in the debate, but I think he did well all things considering. He says that immigration is his most important issue and I disagree pretty strongly with his position. I'm likely to vote democrat for this race. Sorry James.