In their third and final debate, the two candidates running for the open congressional seat representing Bucks County on Friday rehashed major issues and discussed others, including voter rights, term limits, and Social Security.
But Republican Brian Fitzpatrick and Democrat Steve Santarsiero had no major disagreements during the 90-minute forum at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown. And unlike their testier debate two weeks ago, the men barely mentioned the presidential race.
The Eighth Congressional District, which encompasses all of Bucks County and a small part of Montgomery County, is widely viewed as the most competitive House race in Pennsylvania. The candidates are vying to fill the seat held by Fitzpatrick's brother, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, who chose not to run for re-election.
Over the campaign, Santarsiero and Brian Fitzpatrick have more often disagreed on nuance of policy than general philosophy on issues such as climate change, gun control, immigration, and the need for campaign finance reform and term limits.
"Term limits is the most important thing we need to do in this country," Fitzpatrick, a Levittown resident and former FBI agent, said at the debate.
Neither he nor Santarsiero pledged to term-limit themselves, though both support creating a limit for members of Congress.
The candidates also said Americans must respect the outcome of elections. Santarsiero called Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's refusal to say during his third debate with Hillary Clinton whether he would accept the results of the election "deplorable."
"The peaceful transition of power is a hallmark of our democracy," said Santarsiero, a lawyer from Lower Makefield who was first elected to the state House in 2008.
The event was hosted by the Bucks County Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters.