Peterson, Hilliard Square Off in Debate

CLARION – Two men running for United States Congress, Pennsylvania 5th District debated a number of issues before a crowd at Clarion University on Saturday.

Incumbent John Peterson, Republican, and challenger Donald Hilliard fielded questions submitted by the diverse crowd. People ranging in ages from college freshman to senior citizens showed up to listen to each man’s views on topics from the war in Iraq to energy independence.

Both men called for the country to become more energy independent. Both men showed support for the various options for alternative energy, from biodiesel to solar power.

Both men also discussed their views on illegal immigration. Neither of the men supports amnesty. Hilliard noted the loss of construction jobs in Pennsylvania to illegal immigrants. Peterson said the problem of illegal immigration got out of hand during the Clinton administration.

When asked about same-sex marriages or unions, both men said they believe marriage is between a man and woman.

When asked about trade agreements with other countries, Peterson noted that the country needs to enforce the agreements better.

“NAFTA, CAFTA, it’s a whole bunch of alphabet soup taking jobs away from us,” commented Hilliard, who stated that was the result of congressional oversight.

To see both candidate’s platforms, visit Peterson’s Web site here, and Hilliard’s Web site here.

The event was sponsored by the League of Woman Voters of Clarion County, the Clarion County Republican Party, the Clarion County Democratic Party, Clarion University Young Democrats, and Clarion University College Republicans.

The 5th Congressional District covers portions of 14 counties in Pennsylvania, including Clearfield County.

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