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The Latest: McMorris Rodgers and Lisa Brown hold 1st debate

September 20, 2018

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Latest on the 5th Congressional District debate (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

The candidates for eastern Washington’s U.S. House seat differed in their first debate over issues like gun control and dark money in politics.

Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democratic challenger Lisa Brown held their first debate Wednesday night in Spokane, the largest city in the 5th Congressional District.

Both candidates vowed to protect Social Security and Medicare from cuts.

Brown said she wanted to remove so-called dark money from politics, but McMorris Rodgers contended the only candidate benefiting from such funding was Brown.

Brown said weapons like AR-15 assault rifles needed to be strictly regulated, while McMorris Rodgers said she did not want to take guns from law-abiding citizens.

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Noon

The first debate of the tight U.S. House race in eastern Washington state is likely to feature plenty of sniping about Social Security, taxes and rising college tuition.

Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democratic challenger Lisa Brown will meet Wednesday evening in Spokane, the largest city in the 5th Congressional District. They plan several more debates in October.

It is their first public appearance together after months of television ads attacking each candidate. Free tickets were snapped up quickly and the 700-seat Bing Crosby Theater is expected to be full.

The debate is sponsored by The Spokesman-Review newspaper and KHQ-TV.

McMorris Rodgers is the highest ranking Republican woman in the House and is seeking an eighth term. She is facing perhaps the toughest challenge since she won the open seat in 2004 in Brown, a long-time former state lawmaker.

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