Hurt & Douglass Face Off in 5th District Congressional Debate

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5th District Republican Congressman Robert Hurt faced off against Democrat John Douglass in a debate televised on NBC29 Wednesday night.

A lot of ground was covered, but one issue really stood out during the debate in Danville.  Things got heated between the two candidates when uranium mining was brought up.

"He has shamefully brought this issue for one reason, so he can get elected," Hurt said.  "And people are tired of that, people are tired of that Mr. Douglass."

"You know it's funny, he keeps calling me Mister. My name is General Douglass okay folks. I don't think he's a Reverend," Douglass said. 

It may have gotten off to a slow start, but Wednesday's 5th District congressional debate turned into a passionate and, at times, fiery exchange.

"It took you a little bit of time congressman to get around to talking about uranium," Douglass said.  "And let me tell you, those peach farmers and those other people they're not going to be able to grow any peaches or do whatever they're doing with their cows if their farm is radioactive."

Hurt said, "He has dragged this issue, by the way Mr. Douglass, I think you know is a state issue."

Jobs, education, and defense were a few of the topics discussed, but it was talks of uranium mining that got the candidates and the crowd all riled up.  Congressman Hurt was asked if anti-regulation legislation could make it easier to move uranium in the 5th District. His opponent gave a sharp response.

Douglass said, "We don't need the uranium for our country, we don't need it for Southside, the only people that are going to benefit are a very few people that are investors including Congressman Hurt's family."

"And what my opponent has done in lying about this issue about my interest in uranium mining, I have none. I have none," Hurt said. 

Even though the two disagreed and the debate at times was heated, the two did agree that getting things done in Washington would mean a bipartisan effort.

"I haven't said one thing about the people on his side of the aisle because I can work with those people," said Douglass.  "Those people are good Americans."

Hurt said, "Most of the bills that I've introduced have democratic co-sponsors. Think of that!"

Growing jobs was another big topic during the debate.  The two also expressed a commitment to making college more affordable.