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Strike ISIS hard, 1st District candidates agree
From left, First Congressional District candidates Dan Innis, Frank Guinta, and Brendan Kelly during Tuesday's Granite State Debate. (THOMAS ROY/Union Leader)
1st CD debate
- Who won Tuesday night's 1st Congressional District debate?
- Frank Guinta
- Dan Innis
- Brendan Kelly
- Total Votes: 789
Granite State DebatesThe three 1st. District Republican primary candidates met in the Granite State Debate, sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader, WMUR, and the Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College. The Republican candidates for the 2nd Congressional District will debate Wednesday at 7 p.m., U.S. Senate candidates will debate Thursday, and candidates for governor will debate Friday.
Former U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta, who is seeking to regain the seat he lost two years ago to U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., said the United States should consider declaring war against ISIS, which on Tuesday said it had beheaded Steven Sotloff, a graduate of New Hampshire’s Kimball Union Academy.
Fellow Republican challenger Brendan Kelly, a former soldier in the U.S. Army and retired shipbuilder, said he abhors war, but understands that it may be necessary to “wipe ISIS out.”
On Aug. 19, the militant Islamist group released a video showing the beheading of New Hampshire-based journalist James Foley.
Innis and Kelly each said to prevent terrorism, they would support having the National Security Administration monitor anyone who crosses American borders illegally.
Guinta, meanwhile, claimed that Innis has supported Democratic candidates, including giving former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jackie Cilley a $500 donation and pulling a ballot to vote in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.
“I’ve almost always supported a Republican candidate,” Innis said. “The record will show that I did not support Jackie Cilley.”
The candidates each said the economy hasn’t improved since Obama took office in 2009, when the economy was in the midst of a recession and unemployment eventually soared to 10 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobs lost during the recession were regained earlier this year, though many states, including New Hampshire, still have not fully recovered. Unemployment has been on a steady decline since October 2009 and today is at 6.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Guinta said Shea-Porter has served four years in Congress during Obama’s presidency and “she hasn’t done anything to try to improve the economic conditions for the middle class.”
Just one of the candidates said they believed the Republican Party should support, as part of its national platform, the legalization of same-sex marriage.
“I do support traditional marriage,” Guinta said. “I think this is a state issue, but I support traditional marriage.”
“I think marriage is between a man and a woman and their God and I don’t think the state has any place in it,” Kelly said.
The candidates gave varying answers to what they believed the federal minimum wage should be.
“About a dollar and a half,” Kelly said.
“I think the federal minimum wage should be an absolute floor,” Innis said.
Guinta and Kelly said they would support a system that would allow a veteran to receive care anywhere, without having to rely on VA hospitals.
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