While all three candidates seeking the Republican nomination in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District race took part in a debate Wednesday morning, it was two candidates who spent much of their time attacking each other’s record.
The debate, hosted by WGIR, opened with state Representative Marilinda Garcia and former state Senator Gary Lambert accusing each other of taking illegal campaign contributions.
Each denied the allegation, and then went after each other’s voting record.
Lambert criticized Garcia for missing a vote earlier this year on whether to expand Medicaid in New Hampshire.
“She wasn’t there," Lambert said. "I don’t know where she was, whether or not she was worried about her Congressional campaign or what, in D.C. hobnobbing with special interest groups.”
Garcia acknowledged missing the vote, but fired back, rattling off a number of votes she wished Lambert had missed.
“You didn’t allow for legislative authorization of federal education standards," she said. "You didn’t support purchasing health insurance from out-of-state companies. You supported RGGI, you didn’t support our repeal on that.”
Former state Representative Jim Lawrence also took part and said he’s the only conservative grassroots candidate in the race.
The nation’s immigration crisis was among several issues raised during the hour-long debate.
Lawrence said the discussion needs to begin with securing the nation’s southern border.
“And I think we should us all assets available to do that. We need to finish building the fence. We need to augment our border patrol. If we have to use other assets like the National Guard, we need to consider doing that. We have to secure the border first.”
Garcia and Lambert also said they’re opposed to amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
The candidates also found common ground in supporting repeal of the Affordable Care Act and spending roughly $12 billion in emergency funding for health care for veterans.