EDITORIAL: Local Assembly/Senate Debates Left Us Wanting More Details
MONTICELLO - The opioid epidemic, abortion, access to mental health services, the Second Amendment and whether bail reform needs reform dominated two debates at the Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark here Tuesday night to help Sullivan voters decide who they want representing them in the Assembly and Senate in January.
Peter Oberacker, the Republican incumbent for the 51st Senatorial District (that Sullivan is now part of) faced off in the 7 pm debate against Democrat Eric Ball.
Peter Oberacker, at left, and Eric Ball at their debate on Tuesday night.
The second debate pitted Democrat incumbent Aileen Gunther against Republican Lisa LaBue.
Lisa LaBue Aileen Gunther
Each debate lasted about 45 minutes and were co-sponsored by the Sullivan County Democrat and Bold Gold Media Group, which each had a moderator.
(Please see the debate livestreams on The SullivanTimes Facebook page).
If there's another debate in both races - and we hope there will be before Election Day - we'd like to hear the candidates' views on tax policy, infrastructure/transportation, immigration , workplace/labor issues and the future of agriculture and tourism in the region.
While the economy and the environment got a little attention in both debates, we were hungry for much more information from all four candidates on these two critical issues.
Finally, all four candidates could have done better at making their responses to questions much more about Sullivan County.
For example, we were reminded, again, that the County ranks near the bottom of the state in healthcare, but did not hear concrete suggestions about how to improve it.
And, on a related note, there was no question or response in the two debates about what they would do if Garnet Health continues to reduce critical services or moves them to Orange.
To learn more about the candidates: