The two candidates for US Senate meet in Tulsa to discuss their differences

Monday, August 30th 2004, 10:20 am
By: News On 6

The race to represent Oklahoma in the US Senate is in full swing. The two candidates vying to replace Don Nickles in the Senate met face to face Monday in Tulsa.

Congressman Brad Carson and former representative Dr Tom Coburn spoke to the downtown Tulsa Kiwanis Club.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood says it’s one of the most hotly contested Senate races in the country. A win for Republican Tom Coburn or Democrat Brad Carson could help either party get an edge in a narrowly divided Senate. But these are two candidates who don't typically toe the party line.

During Coburn's three terms in Congress he developed a reputation as a maverick. And Carson is known as a moderate Democrat, who favors gun rights and a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

But their similarities were not what the candidates wanted to talk about Monday. They continued to bump heads over the issue of transportation funding.

Carson has accused Coburn of voting against money for Oklahoma roads in 1998. Coburn says he voted against the highway bill because it was filled with pork barrel spending. And he defends his record of bringing transportation dollars back to the state.

Coburn now says he'll support Senator Jim Inhofe's multi-billion dollar transportation bill. Carson called the statement a flip-flop. Coburn: "If that bill is within the budget of money and also within the formula, no special projects, then I would happily support that bill."

Congressman Brad Carson: “we have to have a senator that believes in building our roads. They're the worst in the country. Tom won't, I will. And that’s a big difference for Oklahoma voters"