Two Democratic candidates for the Ninth Congressional District faced off for the first time last week, and a surprising number of very local issues popped up during the discussion.
The de facto incumbent, Congressman William R. Keating (D) faced off against C. Samuel Sutter, Bristol County district attorney, on a live NECN debate with Jim Braude serving as moderator. Over the course of about 22 minutes, the two candidates traded ideas on major issues and some in-our-own-backyard concerns.
First, I’ll recap the predictable Democratic Party-approved lip-service: cut military spending! Troops home now! Tax the rich! Create jobs! Reach across the aisle and hug a Republican!
Now, onto the good stuff. Cape Wind came up early on. Mr. Sutter offered the “right idea, wrong location” sound bite and with a metaphorical “Whatcha gonna do?” shrug said the thing was a done deal, so time to suck it up, cupcake. Rep. Keating spun his previous opposition to the project as “concern” over its chosen site, but said the prospect of jobs for Cape Cod and a step toward breaking the nation’s dependence on foreign oil (another Democratic oldie but goodie) outweighed the project’s siting-related drawbacks.
Controversial Energy Facility Chat Number Two was about Pilgrim Nuclear in Plymouth. Mr. Sutter claimed Rep. Keating was dead silent on the issue of the plant’s re-licensing until he criticized said silence earlier this year, but Rep. Keating said he visited Pilgrim during his first month in office, and co-sponsored H.R. 1242, The Nuclear Power Plant Safety Act.
Rep. Keating boasted about his job creation successes and specifically highlighted $540,000 in federal funding he secured for Falmouth Hospital and money that trickled down to the Falmouth Fire Rescue Department, all of which saved jobs. Mr. Sutter berated the Congressman for coming in “at the last minute” and taking credit for his “small roll” in securing that money, which had been “in the works” for years.
I know it’s traditional for pundits to name a winner and a loser in debates, but neither man really shined or tanked. It was a rather tepid discussion with a few jabs but no knockout punches.
Go to www.necn.com to view the full debate video.
We should soon know who will be Barnstable’s new representative for the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates — and, in all likelihood, that town’s candidate-to-beat for the November election.
Last week I reported that Terry Duenas, executive director of the Cape Cod Community Media Center, and Patrick Princi, chairman of the Barnstable Democratic Town Committee, had filed letters of interest with the Barnstable Town Council, which will choose one of the two men to replace former delegate Thomas K. Lynch.
J. Gregory Milne, former town councilor and two-time candidate for the Barnstable County Board of County Commissioners (2002 and 2008), also submitted a letter of interest just before the July 3 deadline.
On a related note, Ronald R. Beaty Jr. of West Barnstable has withdrawn his candidacy for the assembly and is now running for…nothing. He previously planned to run for the Barnstable County Board of County Commissioners, then entertained the notion of running for both the board of commissioners and the assembly, then dropped his county commissioner run.
State Representative Randy Hunt (R – Sandwich) is hosting a golf day campaign fundraiser in Sandwich. The event is scheduled for Monday, September 17 with a 1 PM shotgun start, and will be held at the Ridge Club in Sandwich. A reception follows at 5 PM.
Further details are pending, just to keep you all in suspense. Go to www.electrandyhunt.com for additional info as it becomes available.
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, senior political reporter, at firstname.lastname@example.org.