The candidates in the 5th Congressional District met in their first public debate Tuesday night.
Republican candidate Andrew Roraback and Democrat Elizabeth Esty are competing to represent the district which covers Meriden, New Britain, Waterbury, Litchfield Hills and the Farmington Valley.
The seat is currently held by Democrat Chris Murphy, who is running against Republican Linda McMahon in the U.S. senate race.
Esty and Roraback debated at the Warner Theatre in Torrington on Tuesday night and discussed everything from gas prices to Social Security in front or a packed house.
"People across the state are paying attention but particularly in the northwest corner," Ann Ruwett said.
One key point of discussion was taxes. Roraback wants to extend the Bush tax cuts while Esty only wants cuts for the middle class.
Esty tied Roraback to what she called extreme policies supported by conservative Republicans. He said that he will go against his party and is pro-choice and against privatizing Medicare.
Both candidates discussed the possibility of reforming Social Security.
"We should raise the income limit in which we contribute," Esty said.
"I will not alter it over the age of 50 - under 50, we need to make changes or there won't be anything left," Roraback said.
The 5th Congressional District was held by Republican Congresswoman Nancy Johnson for 24 years. However the largest voting block is currently Independents.
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