Candidates in 6th Congressional District race attend Fond du Lac debate
FOND DU LAC - The race is on to replace Republican Tom Petri, who is calling it quits after more than 30 years in Congress. A fierce primary battle is under way.
More than 200 voters showed up for a debate between the candidates in Fond du Lac Tuesday night. A majority in the crowd raised their hands when asked how many were undecided.
All three are Republicans but the battle for the most fiscal conservative began when state Senator Glenn Grothman called for a balanced budget amendment in Congress.
"Restricting the total amount that would be spent. It would force Congress not to spend money on superfluous things," said Grothman.
State Representative Duey Stroebel jumped on that claiming Senate Republicans recently failed to act on the issue.
"I think that was a mistake. The Assembly voted for it and the Senate didn't. These guys are in leadership here," said Strobel pointing to his two opponents.
But state Senator Joe Leibham says Republicans balanced budgets under Governor Walker.
"To suggest I've been a big spender is laughable. I suggest you look at the record," said Leibham.
On immigration all three agree on securing the border and what to do with children smuggled in from Central America.
"The children should be humanely returned home to their families," said Leibham. "They should not be allowed to enter this country and stay in this country."
There's no disagreement on what to do with education at the federal level.
"I would be in favor of repealing the Department of Education," said Stroebel. "I'm a state's rights person and I believe that we handle education in this state."
All three candidates oppose legalizing marijuana.
"There's no question the underclass would be hurt by the legalization of drugs and therefore I do not believe the federal government ought to be opening the door to legalization," said Grothman.
There's another debate Wednesday night in Plymouth. The primary election is August 12.
The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris in November.