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Rep. Marcy Kaptur Debates GOP Opponent Richard May in Cleveland

Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Richard May listen to an audience question. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Richard May listen to an audience question. (Nick Castele / ideastream)

This is Kaptur’s second time running since redistricting connected her Toledo district with another Democratic stronghold on the west side of the Cleveland. The district aslo includes Lorain and Sandusky.

Kaptur felt safe enough to suggest congressional district lines should be drawn so they are more competitive.

In the debate, she also said immigration reform is “long overdue” and that Great Lakes states along with Canadian provinces needed more legal authority to deal with algae blooms. And she outlined the major issues driving algae.

“It’s the watersheds that are bleeding into the lake all kinds of nutrients and toxins," Kaptur said. "We have 24 combined sewer overflows, we have to find a way to fund the remediation of those. We also have to find a way to deal with agricultural runoff.”

GOP candidate Richard May of Cleveland said he opposes redistricting reform, and criticized Kaptur for her support of Obamacare, though he later admitted in the debate that he’s currently insured by Medicaid – the government’s health insurance program for the poor.

May said one motivation for his entering the race is that the other Republican in the May primary, Robert Horrocks, is openly gay.

“It’s not that it’s a gay member of Congress," May said in response to a question about his position. "It’s about that it’s a gay Republican member of Congress. The Republican Party is the party of traditional values.”

Kaptur has served in Congress for more than 30 years, and May has never served in elected office before. May said he had less than $10,000 for his campaign. As of July, Kaptur had nearly 40 times that much.

Watch the full debate below.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.