There was high expectation and talk that debating Addie Jenne Russell's would be her strength and Bobby Cantwell's weakness, neither was proven true last night at the debate held at the Northside Improvement League and hosted American Association of University Women.
Both candidates addressed the issues with cursory answers and Addie Jenne Russell even ventured well beyond local and state issues a couple of times with her answers and began talking about foreign oil issues and buying American made products not exactly answers that would rivet a voter to pull her lever for a State Assembly representative.
Write in candidate Donald Lucas of the Waddington / Massena area provided the levity for the evening by being very candid and stating he lost his speech for his opening remarks and that he would most likely agree with both of the candidates and when asked about top three budget cuts he replied "I can't think of three."
Issues covered included budget cuts, school aid, jobs and lower taxes.
It was interesting to note Addie Jenne Russell's response to the state budget woes and her suggestion of cuts included consolidation of local government and "quasi-government" agencies and she seemed to downplay or flippant about the budget crisis by saying there have been worse times than we currently are in. Addie mentioned in one form or another her version of income redistribution which is toeing the Assembly majority line of raising taxes on higher income individuals.
Bobby Cantwell held his own tonight and stuck to his campaign message that government is spending and taxing too much and cannot tax their way out of problems. He offered up consolidation of state agencies such as the Thruway Authority, DOT and Canal Corporation as an example of reducing government cost.
There was no winner of the debate, which may even be a victory for Cantwell.
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