Incumbent Andrew Goodell and challenger Christina Cardinale faced off at the newly remodeled WRFA studio last Thursday evening. Guests and media were socially distanced throughout the room as were the panel and the candidates. The room was alive with a quiet buzz of anticipation. Moderator Jason Sample, WFRA Public Affairs Director, and the panel, WKSN News Director for Media One stations Terry Frank and WNY NewsNow News Director Justin Gould asked a variety of questions that ranged from increasing the minimum wage to the State deficit to the COVID pandemic. Other topics covered were bail reform, advocating for the 150th District and addressing the Red Flag laws. The one-hour debate also allowed for each candidate to ask the other a key question.
In the opening statements, Cardinale focused on her support for working families and the advantage of being a member of the majority party. While Goodell wove his experience as a business owner, attorney and economic background into his legislative success over the past terms. He is also the Minority Floor Leader which gives him time on the floor to influence bills. Cardinale questioned Goodell’s record and statements throughout the debate while Goodell focused on his experience and position, while striving to answer the challenger’s questions.
Each candidate could ask a question of their opponent. Cardinale was direct when she asked Goodell about his action when he was the County Executive in 1993 concerning residents leaving the state to shop to save on taxes and then being told to pay the equivalent to the County. His polite, self-deprecating answer cited his young age at the time, not much older than Ms. Cardinale, his adherence to the State Tax Department’s regulations and then turned the answer to focusing on the future needs of the District. In turn, he asked his opponent what her top priority was in Albany. She answered addressing the high poverty and financial inequality she sees every day the entire debate.
One can listen to the entire debate at WRFALP.com and watch at WNYNEWSNOW.com.