Senate candidates debate prior to election

Posted at 11:50 AM, Oct 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-24 11:50:04-04

It's a battle for the 60th New York State Senate District seat. Either Democrat Amber Small or Republican Chris Jacobs will replace current New York State Senator Marc Panepinto. Both candidates defended their campaigns Sunday morning on Hardline WBEN with Dave Debo.

"The fate of this district could possibly decide whether Republicans or Democrats control the New York State senate," said Dave Debo, who hosted the debate.

"Chris has been on the ballot half a dozen times in ten years," said Amber Small. "Things don't seem to be getting better. I think we need someone who's not involved in the political system. Someone from an outside perspective who understands the problems our communities are going through."

"When the voters are making their decision, I encourage them, please, look not only in what we're seeing but what we've done in the past," said Chris Jacobs.

It was a heated exchange when an ad, run by the Fund for Greater Schools on behalf of Small, was played outloud. It's an ad that accuses Jacobs of using money for his campaign from different corporations, including LPCiminelli. Small said this is an ad she has no control over.

"The way that campaign finances works, I can't control these ads that are done by a separate entity," said Small. "I have no say in them."

"I'd ask Amber to not insult the intelligence of the voters to say she is completely disengaged with those ads," Jacobs fired back. "She talks very much how she depended and was banking that New York State teachers would get behind her and she knew if they did, the dark money would come in, and it has."

"Chris, I'm extremely offended by this," said Small in return. "You, yourself also stopped the endorsement of the teachers union. They backed me because of my support of public education."

Both agreed about the importance of education, should they get elected.

"I want more focus on education," said Small. "We see that our schools are owed more money. The campaign for fiscal equity showed that our schools statewide are owed about $3.9 billion. We need to make sure that they're adequately funded."

"I think the budget, I would agree, that education is the most important thing, and I've been involved with for a long time," said Jacobs.