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Oct 28, 2010 1:41 AM by Jim Hummel

Senate Candidates Debate in New Orleans

Six of the twelve candidates running for U.S. Senate debated in New Orleans Wednesday night, including the front runners: Congressman Charlie Melancon and Senator David Vitter.

Although not alone on stage, Melancon and Vitter seemingly looked past the other four candidates and essentially took jabs at one another. They debated on a wide range of topics including the economy and health care.

"It's a shame that Mr. Vitter continues to lie about my record, I opposed the health care bill, because the health care bill didn't work for America," said Melancon.

Senator Vitter responded, calling their differing views on health care "a big, honest disagreement between us, I fought 'Obama care,' I'm still fighting it," he said.

Though light-hearted at times, the debate did take very serious tones, take when asked about positions on women's rights; Vitter found himself on the defense when Melancon brought up a recent scandal involving one of his aide's, Brent Furer.

"He kept Brent Furer, who brutalized his girlfriend, on his staff, knowingly after he beat her up, that's disrespectful to woman," said Melancon.

Vitter fired back and defended his handling of the situation. "I let the courts determine what happened and they did not pursue with any of the assault charges," he said.

Vitter continued to say that Furer was eventually let go after it was revealed he had several DWI's.

Bickering aside, both candidates used Wednesday's venue to send a message to the voters.

"I'm running for Senate because Louisiana deserves a senator who will always put it's state and constituents first," said Melancon.

"I always take your views and bring them to the debate in Washington and I'll continue to do that," said Vitter.

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