Who won the Democratic debate for US Senate?

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 9:39 PM CDT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WBAY) - With absentee voting in the August primary about to begin in more than a week from now, Democrats hoping to unseat Republican Ron Johnson are making a final pitch to voters.

Five of those on the ballot met for a debate Sunday night at Marquette University.

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes and Milwaukee Bucks Executive Alex Lasry have been leading recent polls but the question now is whether anything said Sunday will move the needle for those hoping to make up ground.

Roe V Wade was among the first questions with Barnes saying he would support using federal land for abortion providers in states like Wisconsin that outlaw the procedure.

“Given the fact that this race is so important, we need to expand the majority, end the filibuster, and codify the right to choose into law, I think in the meantime we have to explore every possible option that women get the reproductive health care that they need and deserve,” said Barnes.

The moderator also asked Alex Lasry, “Is there any exemptions that you would support in order to make sure abortion rights would be legal and codified?”

He responded, “I would support any exemption we can make to make sure that women have the right to make their own health care decisions.”

Lasry also touted his wife’s experience, working for Planned Parenthood.

On the Green New Deal, Tom Nelson told the audience he’s the only candidate to fully embrace that agenda.

“We need to do a green new deal because we have no choice. I believe in the social contract. The social contract that says we need to fix these problems before the next generation and we have really screwed up on this one,” he said.

In response to rising gas prices, Sarah Godlewski blamed the oil companies.

“For starters we absolutely need to make sure that fossil fuel companies aren’t getting that sweetheart deal that they are right now. They’re literally, annually getting over twenty billion dollars a year in tax subsidies and that’s wrong,” Godlewski said.

Steven Olikara told the audience how he’s against big money in politics.

He added, “That’s why I’m the only candidate in this race who is calling to ban members of Congress from fundraising while Congress is in session so they’re actually working for you and not the big money special interests.”

During the debate Lasry also addressed China, and the impact of trade on Wisconsin farmers.

“Our rural economies have been hurting. Our rural farmers have been hurting as well. I traveled to Wausau and went to a Ginseng farm. They talked about the fact they were having trouble not just exporting because of Trump’s trade wars but also finding workers,” said Lasry.

During the debate, most attacks focused on Johnson.

However, after the event, Nelson attacked Lasry, telling reporters in the spin room, “Some of the same candidates who are saying they want to get tough on China have hundreds of thousands of dollars in Chinese and Russian stock and by the way one of those candidates who now lives in this city from New York he has still not submitted his financial interest disclosure report, that’s Alex Lasry. He has an extension for two months and my question is why does he think he’s above the rules and what is he hiding.”

Action 2 News reached out to the Lasry campaign Monday afternoon.

A spokesperson said the allegation is false, and provided a statement saying, “The substance of the charge is absolutely wrong. Alex has no Russian holdings. He also has no Chinese stocks, which has been publicly reported many times. Tom knows this is a blatant lie. As for the report, we took the legally allowed extension, the same one that many candidates across the country have. Once the report is finalized we will submit it promptly.”

Republicans will hold a debate on the same stage July 24th, in the race for governor.

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