Updated: Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012, 11:18 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012, 5:35 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Congresswoman Kathy Hochul and her GOP challenger Chris Collins are in what is billed as the hottest congressional race in New York State.
Wednesday night, the candidates squared off on News 4's sister station, WNLO.
Rep. Hochul said, "Neither party's got all the right answers. We've got to work together."
The Congresswoman touted herself as a moderate Democrat who doesn't just follow the President.
"I'm one of the few Democrats in this country to support the Balanced Budget Amendment to get our spending under control. I support the Keystone Pipeline, unlike the President and his administration. I've broken with the party many, many times," Hochul said.
Collins called himself a job creator with over 30 years in the private sector.
"We need to grow our way to prosperity. We cannot tax and spend our way to prosperity," he said.
Collins says there is a huge difference between the candidates on the issue healthcare reform.
"Obamacare not only wants to tell the Catholic Church what benefits to provide, they want to tell all small business, all business what benefits to provide. This is America," he stated.
But on the issue of Catholic companies having to provide contraception coverage for employees, Hochul responded, "Guess what? They've already been following this in New York State for over a decade, so this is not a radical new change, they're already doing it."
She continued, "What has been an accommodation is to say that you don't have to do it, you need a third party organization to do it so you can be true to your religious beliefs."
Political analyst Joel Giambra thinks both candidates did well three weeks before Collins attempts to claim another Republican seat in Congress.
Collins said, "I've always been a compromising individual when it comes to getting things done."
Hochul retorted, "That's interesting to hear you view yourself as a compromising individual because you've already said if you were elected to Congress you would never vote with the Democratic Party."
Former Erie County Democratic Chairman Len Lenihan said, "She accomplished what she needed to do once she made it very clear that she's willing to work with everybody."
The newly redrawn 27th District has an even stronger Republican base, but the latest poll puts this race in a dead heat.