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Democratic Candidates Square Off in Springfield Debate

Democratic Senate DebateSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The two Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate race here in Massachusetts faced off in a debate in Springfield tonight.

Ed Markey and Steven Lynch answered a slew of questions in connection to national and international security following the Boston bombings and their answers were very similar in those areas.

One area they disagreed on though was how to create more jobs here in Western Mass. where the unemployment rate is lower than most of the state.

Congressman Ed Markey of the Mass. 5th district said, “I think its importance for us to complete the Boston to Springfield rail line.  I think that’s an important job creator, brings jobs out here to Western Mass. creates a much more attractive place for businesses to locate and I’m going to work with President Obama to create a manufacturing hub out here. He’s talking about setting these things up nationally, I think Western Massachusetts would be an ideal location.”

Congressman Steven Lynch of the Mass. 8th district responded, “The best thing we can do is to repeal NAFTA. I remember as an iron worker, standing out with a picket sign outside the Sheraton with the big business leaders, and Mr. Markey, telling us this is gonna be a great thing, it will create all kinds of jobs in the United States, that Mexico would be treated as a state and don’t worry about the jobs, they won’t take many jobs. Well here we are, these many years later, and if there’s any area of this state that’s been impacted by NAFTA, its right here in Springfield.”

NAFTA, or the North American Free Trade Act, was implemented in 1994. It eliminated tariffs on more than a half of Mexico’s imports to the U.S. and one third of U.S. exports to Mexico.

The U.S. Senate Party Primary here in Massachusetts is April 30th with the Special Election taking place on June 25th.

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