Collins, Hochul Face Off in Debate

October 16, 2012 Updated Oct 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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October 16, 2012 Updated Oct 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins and Rep. Kathy Hochul met for their first and only televised debate Tuesday night.

The debate, broadcast on television and radio in both Rochester and Buffalo, gave voters in the 27th Congressional District a chance to hear directly from the candidates.

Republican Collins tied Hochul to the president and congressional Democrats.

"The repeal of ObamaCare. That is the drag on the economy, something Mrs. Hochul supports," said Collins.

Hochul tried to paint Collins as a job-killer who raised taxes.

"I know you're proud of it, Chris, but every one of us is living with the legacy of what you did when you went and sued the Erie County Legislature to force a tax increase - the largest tax increase in a decade," Hochul said.

Recent polling shows the candidates are tied with a small percentage of voters undecided.

Collins has an advantage, though. The district swings Republican.

"They got to get the Republican base vote out for Chris Collins to be successful and turnout is going to be key," according to Eyewitness News Political Analyst Bob Davis.

"I think you'll see that in the next couple of weeks, not even waiting until the last weekend," he said.