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District 2 Congressional Candidates Have First, Only Debate At Rogers State

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Candidates Rob Wallace (left) and Markwayne Mullin at Monday night's debate. Candidates Rob Wallace (left) and Markwayne Mullin at Monday night's debate.
"I have prosecuted in some of the most technical organized crime cases the country has seen, and that's what prepares me to be ready to take on those technical issues in Congress," Wallace said. "I have prosecuted in some of the most technical organized crime cases the country has seen, and that's what prepares me to be ready to take on those technical issues in Congress," Wallace said.
"I'm a plumber and I'm a pretty good rancher," Mullin said. "But we're involved in so many businesses, besides that, because I know how to collect a good team around me." "I'm a plumber and I'm a pretty good rancher," Mullin said. "But we're involved in so many businesses, besides that, because I know how to collect a good team around me."
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -

With one week to go before Election Day, the candidates battling to represent Oklahoma's s2nd Congressional district met in a debate for the first - and only - time.

Republican Markwayne Mullin and Democrat Rob Wallace had traded attacks in a series of campaign ads, but Monday night, the candidates were completely cordial.

Wallace and Mullin covered a lot of ground in a little time, starting with the government's role in job creation and the economy.

"We've got to make sure that people are prepared for jobs. We've got to use our water resources and our natural resources to bring jobs here, and we need folks in career tech, to make sure our workers are ready for those jobs, so that they get to spend that money in the economy," Wallace said.

10/29/2012 Related Story: 2nd District Congressional Candidates Sling Mud Over Water Issue

"The only thing they need to do is get out of our way," Mullin countered. "We'll go to work. It's just—move, get out of the way. Because it seems like, every time they get involved, what they want to do is regulate us more."

But in a surprising twist, the candidates seemed to agree on several areas.

Both agree that the Healthcare Reform Law was a bad idea. Neither wants to raise taxes, but instead, cut spending to lower the deficit.

Also, both agree Iran is a huge nuclear threat and believe the U.S. must stand with Israel.

Experience was one of the only questions the candidates differed on, when asked why they were qualified for the job.

"I have prosecuted in some of the most technical organized crime cases the country has seen, and that's what prepares me to be ready to take on those technical issues in Congress," Wallace said.

"I'm a plumber and I'm a pretty good rancher," Mullin said. "But we're involved in so many businesses, besides that, because I know how to collect a good team around me."

Mullin and Wallace both took 57% of the vote against their opponents in the primary runoff election. Both candidates are seeking to replace Democrat Dan Boren, who is not seeking re-election.

8/28/2012 Related Story: Mullin, Wallace To Battle For 2nd Congressional District Spot

Mullin owns a plumbing business in Oklahoma and said he knows first-hand the dramatic affect government regulations can have on small businesses.

"Right now, I spend more than 40 cents of every dollar the company takes in on complying with regulations," Mullin said.

The main message Mullin said he wanted to get across is that Washington needs more representatives and less regulators.

"The Obama administration has 4,000 regulations in the pipeline," Mullin said. "With all that red tape, is it any wonder that jobs are overseas and so many job seekers have stopped looking for work?"

Mullin's opponent, Rob Wallace, said he believes this is a sign of which team Mullin really supports.

"You don't get to do that without having cut a deal with folks in Washington and those people up there don't have our interest in mind," Wallace said. "Sounds like to me he's made a deal with the forces in Washington and that's what I'm trying to fight."

District 2 is the only Congressional seat currently held by a Democrat in Oklahoma. It covers the entire far eastern side of the state, and both candidates say they will be out in the district campaigning in this last week before the election.

The debate will be rebroadcast in its entirety on Rogers State University Public TV. RSU Public TV broadcasts via DISH, DirectTV and UHF channel 35 and is carried on 76 cable systems, including Cox Cable channel 109 and 110 in Tulsa and Claremore.

It will also be available to view on www.rsupublictv.org.

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