The last time the Tiger Bay Club held a debate, itquickly became everyone's top story with one candidate telling another to shutup. Things were much more calm in the only scheduled debate for Congressional District 10, between RepublicanCongressman Dan Webster and his Democratic opponent, former Orlando PoliceChief Val Demings. Both were asked to saysomething nice about their opponent and both obliged.
"My opponent showed greatcourage in serving the community as a police officer," said Webster.
"I also commend himfor his exceptional faith and for his beautiful family," Demings said.
They traded more positions than barbs when talking abouttopics like Social Security, Taxes, Medicare, and jobs. The audience reallywanted to know about a series of ads run by the Democratic CongressionalCampaign Committee out of Washington DC which accuse Webster of having close ties to lobbyists and special interest groups.
Demings defended the ad saying, "Congressman Webster's record should be a major partof this campaign, as it should be."
Webster has called one of the ads so false, he hasdemanded television stations pull it from the air. "We got on a boat, a regular fishing boat. Nolobbyists were there. No lobbyists were on the boat. We went out fishing. Theone they identify as the lobbyist, that's my other son who's not here."
After the debate was over, both admitted being polite istheir style.
"I don't burn any bridges," said Webster. "I don't make it personal."
"I want to stay focused on the issues,because people don't deserve a political fight," said Demings. "They deserve to hear who is goingto take care of them an their interests."
Congressional District 10 stretches through westernOrange County, Lake, and a portion of Polk County. Outside observers arewatching the race closely to see if Democrats can flip the House seat to theirside.