Candidates for Ohio's 14th Congressional District Debate at the City Club

Rep. Dave Joyce, David Macko and Michael Wager (Nick Castele / ideastream)
Rep. Dave Joyce, David Macko and Michael Wager (Nick Castele / ideastream)

Few of Ohio's Congressional districts are considered truly competitive this year. But the 14th, which stretches from Cleveland's eastern suburbs to the Pennsylvania border, perhaps gives Democrats one of their better chances against a GOP incumbent.

That Democrat is Michael Wager, a first-time congressional candidate. Wager says President Obama should seek Congressional approval for his campaign against ISIS. And Wager says disagrees with the administration's decision to wait until after November before pushing for immigration reform.

"They determined it was too hot to handle before these midterm elections," Wager said. "I stand here to tell you that the 11 million plus people in this nation that are waiting for comprehensive, intelligent immigration reform deserve it."

Rep. Dave Joyce spoke about a need for more agents on the Mexican border.

Asked about a question posed to him by the Plain Dealer on whether he supported universal background checks for gun purchases, Joyce said, "I don't -- I think we have to have a very serious discussion about what takes place in America." Joyce went on to say that universal background checks alone wouldn't solve gun violence, adding that police should also address mental healthcare.

And Joyce took a mixed stance on Obamacare.

"The fact that you can keep your kids on your healthcare until they're 26, that's a good part of the law. I don't have an issue with that," Joyce said. "The idea of people with preexisting conditions - they shouldn't be thrown off their healthcare because they have an issue. They should be taken care of. I get that."

But, without being more specific, he said the healthcare law didn't allow enough competition. And he Joyce said he opposed the law's process for cutting Medicare costs. In Congress, he's voted for Obamacare delays and repeals.

Long-shot Libertarian candidate David Macko took a hard anti-government stance on most issues, saying the Federal Reserve and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms should be abolished. And he even compared Obamacare to Ebola.

Real Clear Politics, Sabato's Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report expect this district will stay in the Republican column this November.

And Joyce's campaign has put more money on the ground. He's spent nearly $1.2 million on this race -- more than twice as much as Wager has.

This post has been updated to clarify Rep. Joyce's remarks on gun control.

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