There hasn’t been an open Senate seat in Iowa since 1974 and six people hoping to become Iowa’s next US Senator took the stage Wednesday evening in Des Moines.
The public has heard from the candidates on the campaign trail and through campaign materials. But Wednesday, we heard from them directly as the candidates tried to set themselves apart from the field.
Six candidates took part in the debate at Drake University.
With the large group of candidates the debate took on the form of a question and answer session and each candidate had an opinion on the Affordable Care Act.
David Young: “Where ever I go people say this, Obamacare, the unaffordable care act they call it, its killing us… if they can't even build a website do you really think they can take of healthcare for this economy?"
Matt Whitaker: “We see employers moving employees from 40 hour full time work to below the 30 hour part time work that’s required by Obamacare and we see companies that want to grow keeping their workforce at 50 or below so Obamacare won’t apply to them.”
Scott Schaben: “If this thing is so pressing the federal government has to get involved with it, the fact that it takes 4 years to implement and on day one it’s a train wreck, we need to start over.”
Sam Clovis: “Doctors are spending more time filling out paperwork today than they are servicing patients. What about the notion that we have money still going to pay for abortion in this country out of this bill?”
Paul Lunde: “My amendment is aimed at eliminating only the obnoxious features, only the mandates, the rest of it should stay and its good legislation.”
Joni Ernst: “It does take the patient's rights out of their own hands, out of the doctors hands and it places those rights in the hands of nameless faceless bureaucrats so it’s driving our costs up while the quality of healthcare is coming down.”
Following the two hour debate Channel 13 asked the people in the audience at random who they thought won. All three had the same answer; Sam Clovis.
“I believe that Sam won tonight because he gave really detailed information,” student, Ann Samuelson said.
The six republicans focused most of their attention on the Obama administration, and not their likely challenger in the Senate race, Democrat Bruce Braley.
Braley is running un-opposed for the democratic nomination. He already has a big lead in the fundraising race.
From July to September, Braley reported raising $900-thousand. Braley also has more than $2-million cash-on-hand as well. That is more than all the six republican challengers have raised so far.