One week after a breakfast debate in Duluth, Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack and Democrat Rick Nolan met for a noontime debate in Cambridge, Minn.
Tuesday's 8th District debate was organized by Debate Minnesota, a nonprofit group run by a multi-partisan board of directors. The 12 p.m. debate was being hosted by Anoka Ramsey Community College.
Two years after unseating longtime Rep. Jim Oberstar, Cravaack's bid for re-election has been heavily bank-rolled and closely watched.
With the 8th District viewed as one of the most competitive races in Minnesota this November, Cravaack's campaign has pulled in more than $4 million in spending by national parties and other groups.
Just three weeks before the election, polls show the race is still too close to call for the district, which stretches from the Canadian border down to Isanti and Chicago counties.
TWITTER COVERAGE FROM @PAULBLUME_FOX9
12:04 PM: Nolan opening statement, "4th generation Iron Ranger." "Country is in trouble."
12:05 PM: Cravaack, "need to have pro-growth tax reform." Wants issue focused debate this afternoon.
12:09 PM: Doesn't take Cravaack long to rip former Congressman Nolan for his poor voting attendance record when in office 30+ years ago.
12:18 PM: No surprise that there is huge divide in 8th district debate over whether federal stimulus pkg worked. Cravaack says just added 2 debt.
12:19 PM: Nolan believes federal stimulus could have been better. But it created jobs. Good jobs. Says President gets no help from GOP Congress.
12:29 PM: Nolan, "you don't protect Medicare by doing away with it. It is an earned benefit. We have to defend it."
12:38 PM: Nolan/Cravaack have feisty exchange over role of environmentalists in the 8th district. Do they stifle mining/job growth on Iron Range?
12:44 PM: 1st audience question at Cravaack/Nolan debate is about whether we need further restrictions on gun ownership after mass shootings.
12:57 PM: Debate wrapping up here. Final statements. Nolan says decision could not be more clear. He wants to build economy middle out. Not top down.
12:59 PM: Cravaack calls himself pro-union Republican. Asks voters to return him to DC to get America on right track.