Sparks fly during debate for 116th Assembly District

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Candidates in the 116th Assembly District traded blows in our studio Wednesday.

Aside from answering questions, Republican candidate Scott Gray and Conservative candidate Susan Duffy did not shy away from going back and forth - and trading jabs.

“I find it interesting that someone that was basically born with a silver spoon in their mouth, had businesses handed down to him, and has sat over Jefferson County as a legislator for all these years, couldn’t fix it running here, and thinks he’s going to fix it in Albany,” said Duffy.

“I don’t know anything about your business. I don’t talk about your business. I don’t care about your business. You don’t know anything about mine and you should refrain yourself from talking about it,” said Gray.

“My opponent went out on his own and shut down businesses, put masks on people, and did it without the consent of his board,” said Duffy.

“Word to the wise, talk about things that you know, things that are factual, and don’t talk about perception,” said Gray.

The candidates weren’t shy as they tackled questions about topics like homelessness and Governor Kathy Hochul’s changes in gun legislation, including allowing businesses to put up signs letting people know if they can conceal carry in on their property.

Both were strong on their stance and support for the Second Amendment.

“When you start making businesses have to do the work, literally do the work for the governor by putting signs up, I personally think it’s dangerous. I don’t think anyone should put a sign up saying it’s in there. I think we simply should not enforce it,” said Duffy.

“I believe in free market. I believe businesses should be able to choose to do what they want to do, but I don’t think it should be regulated by the government, or the governor,” said Gray.

They also tackled the recent decision to lower the overtime threshold for farmers from 60 hours to 40.

“My opponent has suggested that we go and put a multi-state board together so now we can have New Jersey and other states tell New York state farmers what they need to pay their employees. This is not how we go after it. We fight this,” said Duffy.

“The best thing that government can do is get out of the way for farming. That would be the best thing. Absent of that, what we should do, is make sure it’s on a competitive basis so New York state farmers, and agriculture, is not at a disadvantage regionally, globally,,” said Gray.

The hour-long debate will air on WWNY-TV 7 at 7 p.m.

Normal WWNY programming, “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” will air on our sister station, WNYF Fox 28. That’s channel 2 on Spectrum cable and channel 28 on most other sources.

The debate will be available on this website Thursday morning.