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Posted: Tuesday, October 16th 2012 at 10:28pm

9th Congressional debate clarifies differences, similarities

By Marc Eggers Staff
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GAINESVILLE – Republican candidate Doug Collins and Democratic candidate Jody Cooley spent ninety minutes Tuesday evening debating the issues most near-and-dear to the hearts of northeast Georgia citizens as they grappled for votes in their bid for the ninth congressional district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

It marked the second consecutive night of political verbal-volleyball for the two men vying for the newly created House seat. Monday night they plied their policies before a sizable crowd at Big Canoe, in the western end of the massive 20-county ninth district.

Tonight the audience filled about 60 percent of the 512 seats in the main ballroom at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Organized by the Lanier Tea Party Patriots, the first nine questions were presented to Misters Collins and Cooley by a three member panel consisting of local political pundits Ken Coleman, Ken Stanford, and Chandelle Summer.

Seven questions followed from members of the audience. The evening ended with the candidates asking each other one question.

Question subject matter was of no surprise: health care legislation, the Fair Tax, spending cuts, term limits, immigration, reproductive rights, energy, and jobs.

Moderator Joel Williams kept things moving and balanced.

However, what surprised some was not the differences between the two gentlemen (those differences have been well documented and are comparable on their websites), but the number of times they were in agreement.

Democrat Cooley acknowledged that he is running in a district that is strongly Republican historically and some of his positions are not going to translate well.

Yet Collins and Cooley had numerous occasions where their responses to the posed questions were in harmony. Anyone who came to the debate expecting fireworks went home disappointed.

Each candidate was given an opportunity at the conclusion of the debate to summarize their platforms.

Collins said, "This country is not monolithic; that's why I appreciate Jody being here. (But) we need to make government limited; we need to get it back to its Constitutional role; get a budget that is balanced…one that is cutting down our debts."

Cooley said, "Compromise is not a dirty word. Compromise is the hallmark of every effective relationship you have. Comprise was present in great doses at the founding of the country."

For more specific information on each candidate and their respective political positions select from the links below.

Link: Doug Collins website
Link: Jody Cooley website
Link: Lanier Tea Party Patriots website
Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Politics

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