Congressional candidates debate at St. Joe’s

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two congressional candidates faced off at Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute Wednesday morning. Incumbent Brian Higgins debated opponent Kathy Weppner in the race for the 26th district seat. Saint Joe’s AP government students asked the questions.

Higgins and Weppner debated numerous issues like common core, mandatory Ebola quarantines and gun control.  They agreed on some things, for example that torture should not be used on prisoners, but other issues like the minimum wage they disagreed upon.

Weppner said the wage should go up and down with the market. Adding that an increase will hurt the lower class the most, because employers will cut jobs. Higgins however supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10. He says it will help spur economic growth.

During the debate, medical marijuana was also brought up. This summer, New York became the 23rd state to legalize marijuana for patients with conditions such as aids, cancer, and epilepsy. Weppner said legalizing it kills ambition. She said if there are medicinal purposes that marijuana can be used for it needs to be studied.

Weppner said, “We can’t open pot stores, that would be terrible for your futures, it really would. We need clear thinking young people to attack the problems we have, not people that are going to sit back with a bag of doritos. and watch television.”

Higgins said, “The decisions about marijuana use for medicinal purposes is a medical issue that should be decided by people in that profession.”

Both candidates were also asked if they’d like to see a new stadium for the Bills built in Buffalo. Both agreed on the matter and said they want to find a way to pay for it that doesn’t rely on taxpayers. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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