Sen. Biaggi, Rep. Maloney vie for 17th Congressional District seat at 1st debate
Two Democrats fighting to represent the new 17th Congressional District took the virtual debate stage Monday for the first time.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney painted his opponent as too progressive and disconnected from the people of the district while state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi offered the chance to have new ideas in Washington.
The forum hit all the expected topics, including gun safety, protecting reproductive health, and the current state of the economy.
Both candidates shared similar feelings on several things, like the need to codify Roe v. Wade at the federal level, tackling the high cost of living in New York and more funding for public schools as well as teachers.
However, they also differed on several parts of their platforms.
Biaggi backs Medicare For All, a Green New Deal and he called domestic terrorism the greatest national security threat to the country.
Maloney touted his support of Israel and said he is in favor of police reforms without defunding departments and fighting for veterans' benefits. He also supports the Green New Deal.
Biaggi painted Maloney as being bad for democratic values and holding the party back by being too moderate. Maloney called out Biaggi for representing a mostly Bronx district in the state Senate despite her upbringing in Westchester and for having ideas that are too radical.
Both candidates made their pitch to why voters should pick them in August.
"The Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure bill, the Climate Plan, these are real results. Banning oil barges from the Hudson River, we did that together. The gun safety legislation, lowering prescription drug costs, protecting social security and Medicare, pre-existing conditions, and we must enshrine Roe v. Wade into federal law,” Maloney said.
Biaggi said, "Making sure that we are getting big money out of politics. Restoring trust by proving that we are fighting for working families. Being committed to institutional reforms like ethics reform, and overturning Citizens United, and Supreme Court reform."
Maloney put out a statement before the debate saying he would like to hold a second, televised debate before the election in three weeks. It is unclear if it will happen before the election.
Five Republican candidates are running against one another in the primary, but state Assemblyman Mike Lawler is seen as the favorite to win the GOP nomination.
Voters in the new 17th District favored President Joe Biden over Donald Trump by about 10 points.