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Medicaid, immigration, climate top Idaho 1st District debate

Environmental regulations, health care and immigration marked a few of the sharp divides to surface in a televised debate Monday night between the two candidates vying to represent Idaho’s 1st Congressional District.

Republican Russ Fulcher and Democrat Cristina McNeil are both running for the seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador. Fulcher, a former state senator and real estate broker from Meridian, said in his opening remarks that he’d utilize “servant leadership” and stand for what’s important to Idaho residents. McNeil, a longtime volunteer for several organizations and a real estate agent with a brokerage in Boise, said she’d work to help Idaho residents prosper by focusing on “common sense” for common-ground solutions.

On immigration, McNeil said the United States needs to take a humanitarian approach to asylum seekers, welcoming them and allowing them to go through the legal asylum application process without being separated from their families. Fulcher said he doesn’t oppose the asylum application process but said he is suspicious about a caravan of immigrants currently heading toward the U.S. border because it’s happening so close to the midterm elections. He didn’t elaborate on his reasoning.

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