GAMBIER — Tuesday night’s Congressional debate between incumbent Republican Bob Gibbs and Democratic challenger Joyce Healy-Abrams may have lacked the fireworks of the Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney presidential debates and the rancor of Senatorial sparring between Sherrod Brown and Josh Mandel, but it didn’t lack substance. Several hundred people turned out for the event at Kenyon College’s Rosse Hall, and the candidates gave them plenty of clear policy distinctions to carry into the voting booth next Tuesday.
This was the only scheduled debate between freshman Representative Gibbs, who is from rural Holmes County, and Healy-Abrams of Canton and Stark County. In contrast to televised debates higher up the ticket, neither candidate interrupted or spoke over their opponent. The moderator, Dr. Tom Karako of Kenyon’s Center for the Study of American Democracy, said the event was intended to promote civil discourse, and that’s precisely what took place.
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