The candidates running to represent the newly drawn Florida District 22 in the U.S. House of Representatives are both former Florida House representatives, but that is where their common ground ends.
At their first face-to-face debate Wednesday, Lois Frankel and Adam Hasner clashed on issues about the economy, Medicare, Social Security, tax reform, and abortion.
"My pledge is not to privatize Medicare," said Frankel.
"Fiscal responsibility of getting revenue more in line with expenses," said Hasner.
Frankel, a Democrat, served 8 years as the non-partisan mayor of West Palm Beach. Prior to that, she served 14 years in Tallahassee as a Florida state representative, including some years as the minority leader.
Hasner, a Republican and a lawyer, served in the Florida statehouse eight years, some of that as majority leader.
"I'm against raising any taxes on middle class right now," said Frankel.
"Yet you propose absolutely no specifics about reducing spending," answered Hasner.
On the economy and jobs, the two set the partisan policy divide.
"We need pro-growth policies, reforming the tax code to lower rates and broaden the base, eliminating loopholes and exemptions," said Hasner.
Frankel said she supports investing in infrastructure, such as building roads and bridges to put engineers and labors to work. She suggested investment in innovation with a focus on education should be an economic engine.
"I want to know where Lois Frankel is getting the money for roads and bridges with the deficit as it is," said Hasner.
"I want to take the money nation-building spent in Afghanistan and spend it here in America," countered Frankel. "Take away tax breaks going to companies shipping jobs offshore."
Frankel said she opposes any plan to privatize Social Security.
Hasner said he favors structural changes to it by possibly raising the retirement age or calculating payouts based on personal wealth.
Frankel would not commit to Hasner's challenge to support self-imposed term limits in Congress, and decline Congressional pay raises and pensions.
Hasner would not commit to Frankel's challenge to allow women the choice to end a pregnancy.
"Abortion is divisive," said Hasner. "You won't change my mind and I won't change yours."
District 22 comprises cities from central Broward to central Palm Beach Counties.
Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, but polls show the race for Congress too close to call.