PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- District 1 voters now have a more clear view of their Congressional candidates following their first televised debate, and the two men will be meeting again Wednesday night.
Rep. David Cicilline went head-to-head with Republican challenger Brendan Doherty in their first televised debate at PPAC Tuesday night, and the two candidates discussed a wide range of topics such as unemployment, Social Security, Medicare and the national debt.
Congressman Cicilline defended focusing on national issues rather than his eight years as Providence mayor.
"People say 'oh, you're trying to nationalize the election'. We're running for Congress, where we're going to have to make decisions and vote on these important national issues," he said.
During the debate, the two men also tangled over Cicilline saying that Providence was in excellent financial condition during his first run for Congress two years ago.
"I need to continue to shine a light on the intellectual dishonesty of the former mayor, the current congressman," said Doherty. "Because we know through our polling that that's important to Rhode Islanders, important to people in the first district, what happened back then, and how the former mayor left the city of Providence in financial doldrums."
Following the broadcast, Eyewitness News Political Analyst Joe Fleming gave Rep. Cicilline a slight edge over Doherty.
"I think he got more of his message across to the voters as far as tying Brendan Doherty as a Republican and Brendan Doherty, I think missed some opportunities to try to tie David Cicilline into the issues that he wanted to tie him into," he said.
The two Congressional candidates meet again Wednesday night at a forum hosted by the Summit Neighborhood Association on the East Side of Providence.
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