Candidates for Pennsylvania’s 49th District State Senate seat square off in debate

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Election Day is just five days away.

One local race that has gotten a lot of attention is for the State Senate 49th District seat and tonight those candidates faced off in a debate.

This race is becoming known for the negative advertisements that were brought on television. Tonight, the candidates faced off discussing issues that impact the district.

Republican incumbent State Senator Dan Laughlin and his Democratic challenger Julie Slomski each plead their case on why they believe that they’re the best fit for the 49th District.

“We got the eight opportunity zones for the City of Erie that are starting to pay off and those will lead to good paying jobs that we talked about earlier and I’m not going to raise your taxes.” Laughlin said.

“We deserve a State Senator that will fight for us, I mean we have a great opportunity here in Erie County to be more peaceful, more positive and more powerful together and that’s what I intend to do working for us as a whole together and helping us move forward.” Slomski said.

Both candidates touching on what needs to be focused on when it comes to moving forward after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I go back to that a legalization on marijuana and a common sense severance tax are two options to help us close that gap and finally be able to move forward on more financial footing.” Slomski said.

“Our infrastructure does need update if you will and one of things we need to update more rapidly than whether we’re fixing a pothole or not is the rural broadband issue that we have right now.” Laughlin said.

As for the negative advertisements, both candidates weigh in.

“I apologize. I would never intend for this race to get as negative as it has. For me, I was raised to stand up for myself and I’ve face bullies like Senator Laughlin my entire life.” Slomski said.

“For Ms. Slomski to try and sit here call me a bully, that doesn’t sit well with me. Her campaign called me Dirty Dan and I have never used a disparaging remark against her.” Laughlin said.

Other topics of discussion included education, civil unrest and health insurance. If you missed the debate, you can watch a full replay of it here.

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