SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KWQC) – An hour before Trump and Clinton battled it out in Las Vegas, Iowa’s U.S. senate candidates battled it out in the western part the state they are fighting for.
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley has held his Iowa U.S. senate position since 1981. This election season he faces democrat Patty Judge. Judge has held office as an Iowa state senator, Iowa Lt. Governor and Iowa secretary of agriculture.
The two sparred Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, on national security, supreme court nominations and the affordable care act. But it was topics important to Iowans, they spent much of their time debating.
When asked about the Renewable Fuel Standard Judge and Grassley agreed tax credits on renewable fuels are important right now.
“And the tax credits that go with cellulosic ethanol, and the tax credits that go with bio-diesel, until they get to be a mature industry and we can stop the tax credit like we did on ethanol,” Grassley said.
“We need that fuel standard in place in order to make things work until this industry can mature,” Judge said.
However they disagreed on the others’ allegiances.
“And my opponent seems to like everything that EPA does and EPA is ruining RFS by not having the full gallonage mixed with petroleum as it should be,” Grassley said.
“It is not as significant as the subsidies that big oil has receive for years and years, which senator Grassley has supported,” Judge said.
Turning to safety net programs and estate tax for farmers both agreed family farms are priority.
“We’ve got to make certain that we’ve got a strong safety net under family farmers under people that actually live on our farms in Iowa,” Judge said. “We need to protect them.”
“I think the estate tax could be done away with, it isn’t going to be done away with but I favor it, because I think that’s passing on the farm from one to the other,” Grassley said. “And I don’t think you can have tax reform just for farmers.”
The biggest disagreement throughout the night was who is best suited to hold office.
Judge argued that Grassley has been in Washington too long. She says she knows what Iowans want.
“I don’t need to have 99 town hall meetings to know what’s going on in Iowa,” she said. “I live here, I am here, I’ve worked here my entire life.”
But Grassley listed off several bi-partisan bills he’s worked to get passed. And says he stays in contact with Iowans to know what’s important to them.
“I come home every weekend,” Grassley said. “For 36 years in a row I’ve gone to every county to have at least one meeting in every county.”
Judge and Sen. Grassley have another debate planned for November 4th on WHO Radio in Des Moines at 4 p.m. The debate will also air on WHO-TV.
The latest Des Moines Register poll has Grassley leading Judge by 17 points.