NYS Senate Candidates Debate

October 24, 2012 Updated Oct 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon


NYS Senate Candidates Debate

October 24, 2012 Updated Oct 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - One of the most closely watched Senate races in the state is unfolding right here in Western New York.

The outcome of this election could impact the balance of power in Albany.

Candidates Mike Amodeo (D) and Senator Mark Grisanti (R-60) were not shy about attacking each other, while education and job creation took center stage at the debate at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.

Amodeo says his opponent changes his mind too much and does not follow through on his word.

Amadeo also attacked Grisanti's plan for capping property taxes, and said state lawmakers need to give more money for education.

However, State Senator Mark Grisanti says he has been a part of a bipartisan movement these last two years, bringing Albany together and getting a balanced budget passed on time.

He says there needs to be different formulas for different regions of schools across the state, because what Western New York needs is different than schools in New York City.

One question, surrounded UB 2020. Grisanti said "we came up with the first phase of UB 2020 that's moved the first phase of medical campus into the medical corridor. As you have seen by the cost of everything going on down there, it's going to be a huge economic engine for this region -- construction jobs but permanent jobs at the end."

Amodeo, however, said "Senator Grisanti realizes this because as soon as he passed the SUNY empowerment act he had legislation that had the rest of UB 2020 in it. Senator Grisanti says its going to create thousands of jobs but the fact is, WNY hasn't seen one job from it yet."

Charles Swanick was also at Wednesday morning's debate. Swanick is the conservative party candidate.

Swanick argued the state needs a government overhaul, and lawmakers are not helping to create more jobs.