The only statewide U.S. Senate debate between Nevada candidates Republican Joe Heck and Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto aired locally on KTVN at 7:00 p.m. Friday night.
The candidates are competing for the seat that will be left vacant by current Democratic Senator Harry Reid, who is retiring after 29 years in service.
During the debate, both candidates were asked about immigration reform. Cortez Masto talked about how her grandfather was from Mexico, served in the military and became a US citizen. She says she want to ensure a tough but fair path to citizenship. For border security, she says we have technology that an help address border issues. Heck say his family immigrated here from Italy to give their family a better life. He says if we don't fix our legal system, we will continue to have problems and immigrants who are here legally or have gotten their citizenship shouldn't have to wait 10-12 years to bring their spouse or family.
On the question of a litmus test for a supreme court justice, Heck said that he would look at the jurist's history and look for someone who will interpret and uphold the constitution as it is written and not attempt to rewrite the constitution to fulfill a political agenda. Cortez Masto said she would look for someone who understands the rule of law and will apply law fairly and equitably. She continues by saying that we need a more diverse bench that have real world applications.
On the upcoming ballot is a Question 1 on background checks for guns. Cortez Masto says that she supports Question 1 and that she and many of her family members are hunters, but that they are responsible gun owners and need to reduce gun violence. Heck says that he does not support Question 1 because it doesn't address the problems we face. He continues by saying the problem isn't with the legal gun owners. He says we need to prosecute those who try to buy guns who aren't supposed to, have penalties for someone who knowingly purchases a gun and gives it to someone who shouldn't have it. He continued by saying that we are putting a "band aid on the issue without addressing the root cause" referring to the mass shootings where the gun was legally purchased and passed in a background check.
The hour-long debate took place at Canyon Springs High School Theater in North Las Vegas and was produced by Las Vegas television station KLAS-TV. The two CBS affiliates simultaneously aired and live streamed the debate that started at 7 p.m.
Univision affiliates, KINC-TV (Las Vegas) and KREN-TV (Reno) will air a rerun of the debate on Sunday, October 16 at 5 p.m.