Republicans Face Off in Senate Candidate Forum - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Republicans Face Off in Senate Candidate Forum

Posted: Updated: May 19, 2014 11:20 PM
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Iowa's primary election day is just more than two weeks away, so it's go time for the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate vying for your vote.

KWQC teamed up with the Scott County Republican party and Quad City Times to host a Republican Senate candidate forum on Monday evening.

The evening featured a lot of good conversation, and highlighted the good amount of interest in succeeding retiring Democratic Senator Tom Harkin.

Sam Clovis, Joni Ernst, Scott Schaben, Mark Jacobs and Matt Whitaker are each hoping to win the primary election on June 3, and take on Democratic Representative Bruce Braley in the general election in the fall.

But first, the republican candidates had to face each other and potential voters at Monday's forum.

"I don't know very much about any of the candidates and so I'm here to learn about them," said one potential voter who attended the forum, Merle Anderson, of Eldridge.

"You're either for or against maybe one or two of them... and they've got how may running, so give them a fair shot," said another potential voter, Pat Gluba, of Davenport.

With KWQC's own Gary Metivier moderating and our own Elizabeth Goodsitt on the panel asking questions, the candidates each got a shot to touch on a wide range of issues, from military spending and jobs, to social security and climate change.

Many people in the audience found reason to cheer for what all the candidates agreed on:

"Show of hands, who supports raising the federal minimum wage?" Metivier asked the candidates. No one raised a hand, and the audience erupted into loud applause.

Still, this 90 minute open discussion forum was really a chance for voters to find out the differences between the candidates.

"I want to listen to all the different candidates and see which one has the values that I'm looking for," said one attendee, Lillian Gluba.

"I'm looking for a candidate that's a patriot," said another attendee, Richard Bracker.

All evening, each candidate worked to convince voters that he or she was the best for the job and the only one who can defeat Bruce Braley come fall.

Members of the crowd, no doubt, walked away with different opinions of the candidates, but all we talked to said they were grateful for the opportunity to learn more.

"I just like to hear it in person," Anderson said.

Early voting is already underway ahead of the June 3rd primary.

Absentee Ballot request forms were available at the event on Monday night.

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