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Candidates for U.S. House seat square off in debate

Megan Pauly
Delaware Public Media



The major party candidates for Delaware’s lone U.S. House seat offered their views on how they’d address the country’s growing national debt Wednesday night.

In a debate at the University of Delaware co-hosted by Delaware Public Media, Republican candidate Hans Reigle said job number one is to cut the federal budget by two percent and address systemic problems.  

He added there needs to be an incentive for federal departments to save money.

"Right now the way the money’s budgeted in Washington DC, if you don’t spend all your money in your department, you lose it the subsequent year," Reigle said. "That’s a systemic issue that absolutely needs to be addressed."

Democratic candidate Lisa Blunt Rochester countered that a blanket two percent of the budget can’t be made without careful analysis to ensure essential services like child care and social security aren’t adversely affected.   

She added it’s important to bring all stakeholders to the table when making difficult decisions like making funding cuts.


Lisa Blunt Rochester and Hans Reigle were also asked if they’d support boots on the ground to intervene with the Syrian civil war and in Iraq.

Rochester said she does not, calling diplomacy the place to start. She also warned that the tenor of debate over issues like this can be harmful.

"The rhetoric and how we talk about people is contributing to the reason we’re seeing what we’re seeing," she said.

Reigle said he wouldn’t be opposed to boots on the ground if that’s what the generals or the president decide they need.

“We left in a rush and we kind of created a power vacuum in Iraq and we’re somewhat responsible for helping clean that up, in my view," he said. "We did put some more ground troops back in - special forces, advisors and so on. So I do think it’s important that we continue to help the Iraqi government.”

Reigle said borders need to be secured to protect against home grown terrorists and said expired visas need to be tracked.

He added he doesn’t believe in sanctuary cities or states, saying they contribute to insecurity.

He also noted he’ll be voting for Trump because of Hillary Clinton’s role with Benghazi.


Blunt Rochester holds a 20 point lead in the race according to a recent University of Delaware poll.


Watch the full debate below:" target="_blank" title="Share link">

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