Prior to the presidential debate, the congressional debate for the 5th district of Pennsylvania occurred Monday night as a final plea to gain votes for each candidate.
The 5th district is geographically the largest district in Pennsylvania and includes Centre County.
The candidates for congress, Democrat and Penn State Professor Charles Dumas and Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Centre, expressed their views on jobs, health care, global warming and energy in University Park, where their final opinions aired on WPSU.
Thompson said the debate allowed each side to distinctly lay out their points so voters could be more informed before heading to the polls. He said the diversity of questions allowed each candidate to showcase primary differences.
As for Dumas, he was able to gain more recognition, since Thompson is already familiar with Pennsylvania voters, Dumas said.
“The debate helped clarify who I am and what I stand for,” he said.
On issues concerning global warming, Dumas said it is a major problem that needs to be taken care of. Dumas said Pennsylvania needs to figure out how to stop the global warming process, as well as producing alternative energy.
He said Pennsylvania could become “the cornerstone” of producing alternative energy.
Thompson said the United States needs to be independent of the Middle East when talking about alternative energy options and creation.
Dumas said he would work with the president, if elected to Congress, and he supports equal jobs and equal pay.
He also said the government could instate ideas to develop jobs, especially in fields consisting of alternative energy and infrastructure.
For job creation, Thompson said small businesses are hurting because of high fuel prices and taxes and said something needs to be done. He said Pennsylvania needs to create jobs and job opportunities by taking the uncertainty off small business owners.
“It’s a tough time to enter the job market for everyone,” Thompson said.
Deb Flavin, Centre County Republican Committee secretary and executive director, said Pennsylvania is lucky to have Thompson in Congress. He focuses on issues and cares about the 5th district and future generations, she said.
On issues concerning national foreign policy, both candidates expressed different opinions on the biggest threats facing the nation.
Dumas said he thinks the Middle East is the biggest foreign policy issue, whereas Thompson said the biggest issue is other nation’s development of enriching uranium and nuclear power.
Centre County Democratic Committee Chairman Greg Stewart said the main issue for the next congressman is to accurately represent the district.
He also said more money needs to be put into higher education, as well as improving infrastructure and modernizing it, which will result in creating more jobs.