Updated: Wednesday, 24 Oct 2012, 5:25 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 24 Oct 2012, 12:58 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Students at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute saw fireworks Wednesday morning, during a debate between state senate candidates. Republican incumbent Mark Grisanti, Democrat Michael Amodeo and Charles Swanick, on the Conservative line, fielded questions for roughly an hour.
The debate started out heated, during opening statements Amodeo said people need to question anything Senator Mark Grisanti says. Grisanti replied by stating his platform.
The debate kicked off with a question about the hot topic of the Buffalo Bills lease negotiations. Each candidate was asked to weigh in on the proposal to repair the Ralph and the new proposal to build a new stadium on the waterfront, as well as the use of taxpayer money.
Candidate Michael Amodeo said, “It is a good use of taxpayer dollars if we're not giving away the store. The Buffalo Bills is a huge economic generator.”
Senator Mark Grisanti said, “If there were going to be any sort of tax payer dollars that are used for renovations of the Ralph Wilson Stadium, we need to have also the same amount of revenue that is given by the team itself.”
Candidate Charles Swanick said, “The recommendation that I would make at this moment is that they get these recommendations moving forward, and wrap this up as quickly as possible.”
The moderator then asked Grisanti why he changed his position on same-sex marriage.
Grisanti said, “If it was done for political purposes, I wouldn’t have voted for it in fear of losing a political line. It’s not who I am, I put people first and not politics. I did not campaign on marriage equality in 2010, that's a misnomer that has been consistently out there.”
Swanick said, “Mark Grisanti failed us on this issue, he did campaign in 2010 that he was against gay marriage.”
Amodeo said, “If it was a principled idea and it was a vote of conscience, then he should have no problem in the future voting for other issues regarding LGBT community, like gender.”
Then Amodeo was asked if he could win the election if he doesn't have support within his own party.
“When you’re talking about party, you’re talking about downstate Democrats which I’m not trying to appease. I have the full support of the Erie County Democratic Party.”
Voters will decide the winner on November 6th.