Democrats in 2nd District race face off in debate

Primary is Aug. 14
Democrats in 2nd District race face off in debate

Four Democrats vying to replace U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in Congress faced off in a debate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Tuesday night.

Democratic state Reps. Mark Pocan and Kelda Roys are touting their experience as state lawmakers, saying they know how the legislative process works.

Attorney Matt Silverman and businessman Dennis Hall are political newcomers who say their lack of political experience give them a valuable outsider’s perspective. They are competing in the 2nd congressional district.

Just a week ahead of the primary, the Democratic candidates met for a debate hosted by UW-Madison and WISC-TV.

The debate lasting nearly an hour covered a variety of topics, including gun control in the wake of the shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek that left seven people dead, including the gunman.

Each of the candidates was asked about job creation, Social Security, their values and their priorities.

But each also discussed Sunday’s shooting in Oak Creek as they were asked about their stance on gun control issues.

“The idea of a 100-round magazine — you’re not going to shoot a deer with 100 rounds. I just see no need for that. Background checks most certainly have to be tightened up,” Hall said.

“There are a number of things we should do, including expanding the loophole in the background checks; the fact that you can go to a flea market and not go through the same background checks as in at a store, that needs to be closed. And I think there’s a lot of support for that across a lot of political spectrums,” Pocan said.

“I do think it opens the conversation for us to get serious about a culture of violence in this country and making sure we are having reasonable laws about who can use weapons and what kind. I agree we should reinstate the assault weapons ban, and close the gun show loophole,” Roys said.

“The downside of an armed civilian population is clear in these days, so when it comes to assault rifles, magazines and background checks — these are issues that I think need to be sorted out by the Congress and by the people. We have to get a real balance,” Silverman said.

People can hear the candidates’ responses on the other issues when the debate airs this weekend. WISC-TV will air the debate at 10 a.m. Sunday and on WISC-TV’s sister channel, TVW, the same day at 7 p.m.

The winner of the Aug. 14 primary will face Republican Chad Lee in the Nov. 6 general election.