SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Republican candidates in the 22nd Congressional District came into their debate Tuesday trying to create separation in the race to replace outgoing Congressman Richard Hanna on the GOP ticket.
History teacher George Phillips, state Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney and businessman Steve Wells made that clear on several issues, including gun control.
Recent talks on banning assault weapons and instituting a so-called "no fly, no buy" list for suspected terrorists failed Monday in the U.S. Senate.
"We rushed the safe act through in 2013, the governor did it under a message of necessity, and what do we have now? We have more gun violence,” Tenney said.
"One of those lists has over a million names on it. We can't take away the Second Amendment rights of millions of Americans,” Phillips said.
But one candidate would support that list, with exceptions.
"There's got to be a way that they're, have a way to be cleared off that watch list,” said Wells.
The Second Amendment also found its way into conversations on jobs and the future of Remington Arms, a Mohawk Valley-based company, as well as the war on terror.
Tenney emphasized she's the only candidate with an A-rating from the NRA based on her voting record in the Assembly -- not just filling out a questionnaire as a private citizen.
Another signature GOP issue -- abortion -- brought out some differences, with Wells refusing to say where he stands personally.
"We can waste our time fighting about things, or as a business person I can tell you what we need to do to get jobs,” he said.
"I don't agree with the Roe v. Wade decision, I think it was decided by judges and not how it should have been through the states,” said Tenney.
"As a pro-lifer, I want to defend innocent human life, but I also want to have a healing voice, and reach out with compassion,” Phillips said.
On the question of foreign trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, both Tenney and Phillips said they would vote no.
Wells said he would give the president the right to negotiate it.
"The problem with this president is his track record with negotiating has been atrocious,” Wells said.
The primary is set for Tuesday, June 28.