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Watch scenes from CD11 debate

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Sunday, October 12th, 2008 at 8:48 am in 2008 November election, Congress, congressional district 11.

I attended the much-anticipated debate between congressional District 11 opponents Jerry McNerney, the Democratic incumbent, and Dean Andal, the Republican challenger, in Tracy last night and it was a very lively exchange.

In fact, this face-to-face showdown sponsored by the Tracy Press was just as, if not more, interesting than most of the presidential debates we’ve heard so far. The candidates disagree on just about everything, which means voters in this mixed Bay Area-San Joaquin Valley district have a clear choice.

I’m in the office this morning to write a full account of the debate for the Monday newspaper. (Click here to read the full story.)

But I’ve posted video of a few scenes from the event, including a crowd shot and McNerney’s entrance into the Tracy school where the debate was held. McNerney’s campaign organizers brought quite a few supporters to Tracy.

I’ve also posted the closing statements of each candidate. See below.

We will have the full debate posted at ContraCostaTimes.com/election in a day or so.

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  • Tom

    Not my district, but interesting. So, does McNerney really think “it’s okay not to fund troops?” Seems like some of the crowd didn’t agree, and sounds like a dubious charge to me.

  • Rebecca

    If you think the McNerney crowd was cool at before the debate you should have seen us at the end! I learned a few more McNerney chants that night. It was good to be a part of all that support.

  • Sara

    Dean answered all the questions directly. Jerry has apparently already been in Congress too long, since he dodged & danced like a seasoned politician.

  • Joseph

    Jerry McNerney supporters were bussed in for the television cameras. After the “SHOW” there were at least fifty of them standing outside the “THEATER”. Very distasteful of Jerry McNerney and the flyer that we recieved in the mail just prior was equally as raunchy. As we left we refused their McNerney signs and they chanted “VOTE MCNERNEY” at us. Yuch! I never saw such horrid display. The bus people were also BOOOOing loudly at the debate. Most awful debate ever! ;( Very disgusting Jerry! Sorry, not getting this vote!

  • David Coursey

    I am a McNerney supporter. I think Dean Andal gets credit for being a “real” Republican, which few members of his party can say they are. If I agreed with his version of the truth, I’d vote for him. He seems like a smart enough guy.

    However, during the debate, Mr. Andal was big on idiotic issues like pulling individual votes out of context. Being a for former legislator, I’d expect more of the man than stupid political tricks. Just a stunt for supporters who don’t realize they are being played. It’s not the individual votes, it’s the record.

    It was not appropriate for Mr. Andal to describe Rep. McNerney as “immoral” for not being willing to extend the Iraq war forever. Mr. Andal presented it as though Rep. McNerney voted to stop funding the war RIGHT NOW and leave our troops hanging. NOBODY would vote to do that, but they Democrats did support a time limit, allowing a withdrawl before the money ended. We can debate whether a timeline is a good idea or not, but the vote was NOT as Mr. Andal presented it.

    Rep. McNerney had a son in Iraq and has been an incredible supporter of our troops. No one cares more about our soldiers and sailors than a father whose son was in harm’s way not very long ago.

    It is to Rep. McNerney’s credit that his just let Andal’s bogus comments slide. I’d have clobbered the guy.

    Having said that, I don’t think Dean Andal is a bad person, but he should run a classier race and not take such easy shots to play to his base.

    We are fortunate to have Jerry McNerney as our representative. He’s a smart guy with a hard science degree. He doesn’t have tons of Elvis, but he’s absolutely sincere and as decent and thoughtful a guy as I’ve ever met. He has lots more in common with his neighbors than almost any elected official I have ever known.

    Listening to Jerry, I can hear occasions where his support for his party probably challenges his personal beliefs. When Jerry says he opposes abortion, I see a good Catholic dealing with a lot of internal conflict.

    Jerry will not vote to make abortion illegal. But, I am absolutely certain he will take every opportunity to give women as much support as they need to be able to choose NOT to abort or, better, never become pregnant in the first place.

    Jerry will also provide support for all children. In a less than perfect world, this is a very moral position for someone who isn’t willing to force his will on another person. Jerry understands that abortions should be extremely rare, but safe and legal for a woman who has exhausted all other choices.

    Like I said, I am proud to have a non-politician, non-lawyer, smart person representing me. I may not always agree with Jerry, but I respect how he makes his decisions and know we both want to live in a fairer, more just world.

  • MackersFamily

    Oh yes McNerny danced like a ballerina. As a matter of fact twice he said he would wait too see what the voters thought before answering panel. To the Tracy Press imagine will also be in the same leftist guerella crowd for pet candidate Celeste Garamendi. Now we see your true colors. Yellow journalis and ads for Celeste and McNerny. Pinko propoganda

  • MKoertje

    To whom it may concern: thanks so much for sponsoring the forum between Andal and Congressman McNerney this evening. However due to fact Andal continued his despicable twisting of facts concerning McNerneys voting for our soldiers, I hope this paper will point out this non partisan web site To whom it may concern: thanks so much for sponsoring the forum between Andal and Congressman McNerney this evening. However due to fact Andal continued his despicable twisting of facts concerning McNerneys voting for our soldiers, I hope this paper will point out this non partisan web site http://www.veteranreportcard.org/reportcard.pdf and how our veterans have graded McNerney and his votes. Again thanks for the opportunity to see what kind of Truth Andal believes in. hasn’t this country been destroy by the twisting of the truth by Republicans enough???????
    A recovering republican, born again declined to state voter

  • Freak_of_the_far_right

    If you are interested in the future of the GOP check out this article on halfway to concord. It will help you with why Andal may come up short.

    http://halfwaytoconcord.com/renegade-republican-says-farewell-to-the-reagan-era/#more-3774