Candidates for 9th congressional, senator and governor make their case at Whaling Museum

Mike Bonner / The Standard Times

October 24, 2018

NEW BEDFORD — An evening of political discussion at the Whaling Museum on Wednesday broke down into two segments. The first hour featured two candidates discussing their political aspirations without an opponent present.

The second hour featured incumbent Democrat Bill Keating defending his position as the representative for the 9th Congressional District against Republican challenger Peter Tedeschi.

Despite debating, the congressional discussion featured fewer complete disagreements than when Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez and Republican Senate candidate Geoff Diehl spoke separately. Gonzalez is looking to unseat GOP incumbent Gov. Charlie Baker and Diehl is challenging Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. Neither Warren nor Baker was present at the debate.  …

In their fourth debate, Keating and Tedeschi spoke to unity and conversation rather than partisan politics.

“The fact of the matter is when you talk in a civil way, what we both really want is for you to hear is what we have to say,” Tedeschi said. “The fact is, when we’re not respectful of each other, we’re not respectful to you.”

The candidates answered more than a dozen questions including follow-up responses ranging from Carlos Rafael’s fishing permits to South Coast Rail and opioids.

Each offered examples of when they spoke out against their own party. For Keating, it was his disapproval of the national marine monument ordered by Obama. Tedeschi, who identifies more as a Charlie Baker Republican than a Donald Trump Republican, said he believes the United States should have remained in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Tedeschi said he’s running to be a “solution” to a broken Congress. He said he would only run for three terms if elected. Keating is seeking his fifth term.

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