St. Joe's hosts annual candidates debate

Oct 18, 2019

Fresh on the heels of Thursday night's debate, in the WNED/WBFO studio, the candidates for Erie County Executive squared off again, Friday morning. St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Tonawanda hosted its 35th annual candidates debate with the incumbent, Democrat Mark Poloncarz, and his challenger, Lynne Dixon, a county legislator, running on the Independence line.

Hundreds of St. Joe's students attended the debate
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

Panelist Ian Klenk, a senior, says he was impressed by both candidates.
"For the majority of the time they stayed professional and there wasn't a lot of mudslinging. And certainly, in this day and age, it's very exciting to see candidates that really care about the issues and certainly delve into the quality of the issues instead of just the surface. And so we were all very impressed with both candidate's answers."   

Klenk says, along with meeting weekly, he and other AP Government students on the panel spent hours working on their own researching issues. The 17-year-old says he gets most of his news and information from the internet and blogs.  

St. Joe's debate panelist Ian Klenk
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

"Definitely one downside to that - it is more one-sided which is sort of constraining on how we conceive certain issues. But I'm hopeful that with events like this our perspective is broader and we have more information when we're going to the polls soon."  

Both Poloncarz and Dixon say they were impressed by the questions posed by the students.