BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The midterm elections are three weeks away and on Tuesday, News 4 hosted the only live debate between two congressional candidates running for Congress in the newly drawn 23rd District.
Democrat Max Della Pia and Republican Nick Langworthy took the stage for the debate. Analysts say it was lively and a show of democracy. The two men come from very different backgrounds and analysts say it showed on the debate stage.
Debate topics included the economy, crime and public safety, abortion, gun laws, healthcare and more.
“I think you could see the fact that you had a novice candidate in Mr. Della Pia and someone who is very experienced in politics. I think there was an experience gap in that debate. Not that Della Pia gets a failing grade, but I do think that Nick Langworthy certainly showed more experience,” Carl Calabrese, a Republican political analyst and strategist, said.
“You had two candidates that came into the arena ready to talk about the issues not to get into the so much of the far left and far right rhetoric that so many people are shaking their heads at,” Len Lenihan, Democrat political analyst, added.
After New York’s lengthy redistricting process was completed, NY-23 includes portions of Erie County and the Southern Tier, which includes Chautauqua, Cattaragus, Allegany, Steuben, Chemung, and Schuyler counties.
Neither candidate outwardly supported their party’s top leaders. When asked if he would endorse President Biden, Della Pia said he was not sure. Langworthy was not outright with his support of Former President Donald Trump and said he would hold his endorsement until there was a nominee.
Calabrese says Langworthy took a national approach, making the issues about the country as a whole. Lenihan says Della Pia took a more personal approach, showing he is not the every day politician.
“I really do believe that the economy, inflation, the border, crime, those are going to be what drives voters on election day. I really do believe that we may be in store for a wave election, a Republican wave election,” Calabrese said.
“Putting himself [Della Pia] forward as a candidate for public office in a difficult time and when he’s up against the odds. That needs to be admired and acknowledged no matter what happens on election night,” Lenihan added.
Both candidates say they are the man for the job. They come from very different backgrounds and experiences, giving the voters in NY-23 a choice on Election Day.
“If you want change, if you want to bring balance back to Washington, D.C., if you want to get this country back on track, I humbly ask for your vote on November 8,” Langworthy said in his concluding statement.
“There are too many people who are driven by money, power and ego in Congress and we need to send a different type of Congress-person,” Della Pia said in his concluding statement.
Early voting begins in New York on October 29 and runs through November 6. Election Day is November 8. Other races on the ballot include races for New York Governor, New York Lieutenant Governor, U.S. Senate, New York Attorney General, Erie County Clerk, New York Comptroller, and various state senate and assembly seats depending on the district.
Find your polling place and check your voter status here.
The debate was hosted at News 4’s studio in Buffalo. It was also broadcast at WETM in Elmira. The discussion was moderated by News 4’s Chris Horvatits and Dave Greber.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.