May 29, 2014 9:37 AM by Laura Wilson - KAJ News
KALISPELL - This year's election ballot certainly won't be short of Republican candidates vying for Montana's lone U.S. House seat, and Wednesday evening marked their last chance to debate some of the nation's "hot topics," before voters hit the polls on Tuesday.
Five GOP candidates are in the hunt for the party's nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives, and Tuesday night marked their final debate before the June 3 primary.
The debate centered mainly on the nation's economy,spending, and healthcare. In the final stretch of their GOP nomination campaigns, this was the candidates' last chance to promote their respective platforms before a large viewing audience.
"It's about the spending. That part of the record I am very proud of. I am the candidate who has actually gone through the budget and taken the time to review it line by line," Matt Rosendale said.
"We can't look at only money. What we're going to have to do is grow the economy and in order to grow the economy we will have to be energy independent and roll the government back," candidate Ryan Zinke countered.
"We don't have an amendment that says we must balance a budget. We must do that for Congress. One Congress cannot mandate to another Congress, so it needs to be an amendment to the constitution," candidate Elise Arntzen explained.
"If you want to do anything comprehensive in America, you really have to have some ideas that has bipartisan support. That support in America is to allow pre-existing conditions for individual health insurance. We need to get back to that," candidate Corey Stapleton told the audience at the Red Lion Inn.
"We should have a moratorium on all immigration to this country or - according to all the data - it will be the end of the Republican party and Conservatism in 10 years or less," candidate Drew Turiano concluded.
It's a significantly smaller pool of Democratic candidates for the U.S. House seat, with a two-way race between candidates John Driscoll and John Lewis for the nomination.
The candidates were given three one-minute wild cards during the debate that allowed them to direct individualized questions at their opponents.