It’s one of the most important races in the country right now and it’s coming to Temple’s campus next week.
Democratic candidate for the Senate Katie McGinty, and Republican candidate Pat Toomey will go head to head in the second of two debates at Temple Performing Arts Center next Monday.
It’s a high stake election. If McGinty wins Pennsylvania’s seat, it could tip the senate from red to blue.
It’s also an election that has gotten personal. A press conference at Senator Toomey’s Philadelphia office led to attacks from Katie McGinty about “man[ing] up.” She has criticized his refusal to condemn Donald Trump for his comments about sexual assault last week and for his refusal to apologize.
“Either Senator Toomey does feel that these kind of disgusting behavior we’ve seen from Donald Trump are absolutely alright, that should be disqualified. Or Senator Toomey is not telling the truth,” she said. She also criticized him for his ties to Wall Street.
Toomey, on the other had, criticized McGinty for her policies, saying it’s her economic plan that make her a bad choice for the Keystone State. In a phone call with Temple Update, Toomey said he “think[s] the economy is not working for Pennsylvania residents because of failed policies that unfortunately she supports.”
He also told us he wanted five debates, not two. “Katie wouldn’t agree, so that’s all we’re going to get.”
He said he’s feels confident going into the debate that has the possibility to sway undecided voters in his direction. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m really hoping we can engage with the audience.”
These topics were major issues in the first debate and 6abc anchor, Jim Gardner, the moderator for the second debate, says they’re going to be issues again in the second one. But he says it will get heated.
“I think it’s inevitable that we’re going to have moments of acrimony. Hopefully we can keep it reasonable,” he said.
He also wants to keep to the issues. “It’s difficult because you don’t want to seem disrespectful, you don’t want to seem like you’re scolding candidates because that doesn’t make me look very good,” he said.
Although keeping the candidates in line will be hard, he says he’s excited to be part of such an important debate. “This is a vitally important race, I personally just really enjoy political reporting.”
Gardner plans on asking questions about the economy, gender equity, social issues, Planned Parenthood, immigration, climate change and terrorism. If you have a question to ask, he says he will be asking questions from the audience. You can also ask questions on social media.
The debate will start at 7pm on Monday, October 24 in Lew Klein Hall at TPAC. It is presented by the Pennsylvania league of Women Voters and 6abc, where it will be broadcasted live.