A 1-hour debate between candidates for Congress in District 3 in Rio Rico Wednesday ended with yelling and personal attacks.
Republican Gabriela Saucedo Mercer said Rep. Raúl Grijalva has “a pathetic track record” and questioned Libertarian Blanca Guerra’s dual citizenship.
Grijalva called Saucedo Mercer a conspiracy theorist.
Guerra called Saucedo Mercer ignorant and intolerant toward immigrants and questioned her grasp of the English language.
The three found little common ground but showed about 100 audience members their different positions on a few key issues.
On health care reform
Saucedo Mercer and Guerra said they’d vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
Grijalva said he supports Obamacare and would add a strong insurance premium rate review rule, a public option to compete with private insurance and funding for doctor training programs.
On the budget
Candidates were asked whether they support the Ryan budget.
Saucedo Mercer said the Ryan budget “makes a lot of sense.”
Grijalva and Guerra said they don’t support it.
Grijalva called the Ryan budget unfair and abusive. “It’s not about austerity. It’s not about a balanced budget,” he said. “It is about creating a government that is minimalist and creating a government where the richest 2 percent get the biggest breaks.”
On gas and oil subsidies
Grijalva said gas and oil companies “don’t need a break from the American taxpayer to make those profits.”
Guerra is opposed to the subsidies and asked Grijalva why he hasn’t put a stop to them. Grijalva responded that he has consistently voted against them.
Saucedo Mercer denied the gas and oil industries receive any subsidies. Grijalva responded that tax breaks are subsidies.
Read tomorrow's Arizona Daily Star for the candidates' stances on two key border issues.
Stay tuned to the Pueblo Politics blog throughout 2012 for news, updates and information about Arizona politics. You can follow Arizona Daily Star reporters Brady McCombs, Becky Pallack and Tim Steller on Twitter.