Lehigh Valley

Two Democrats duke it out for a shot at Congressman Dent's seat

Two Democrats duke it out for a shot at Congressman Dent's seat

Two Democratic challengers say they have the right stuff to unseat incumbent Republican Charlie Dent in Pennsylvania's 15th District.

But first they have to duke it out on primary day for their party's nomination.

Some might compare this race to the story of David versus Goliath.

But both Democratic challengers say, given the national mood of voters, Dent is vulnerable to defeat.

While the two Democratic challengers for Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District have extensive experience in politics, this is their first stint as candidates.

Lehigh County Democratic Chair Rick Daugherty has been active in leading the party and supporting candidates and attorney Jackson Eaton has served as counsel for White House and congressional committees.

Both say incumbent Republican Charlie Dent is beatable in November.

If that happens, job one is the economy.

"I have a day one proposal to invest $50 billion in infrastructure across the country and right here in the Lehigh Valley," said Eaton.

Eaton says his plan is similar to the one proposed by President Obama and would create jobs.

Daugherty says he would focus on beefing up our country's manufacturing base, starting by re-evaluating free trade agreements.

"Unless we deal with those very unfair trade policies that Congress put in place, our economy is not going to come back to where it should be," said Daugherty.

Daugherty says he would put his energy into redirecting defense dollars away from foreign military bases to current national threats against our borders and in cyber space.

He says Medicare also needs more oversight.

"It's estimated that about $48 billion a year is lost to fraud and abuse. I would target that," said Daugherty.

Eaton says he too is committed to putting the nation's financial house in order, saying he would support many of the recommendations made by the bipartisan Bowles Simpson Deficit Reduction Commission which backed eliminating fraud in essential government programs, decreasing defense spending and reductions in congressional pay.

Eaton says he would also be a champion for women's issues.

"We need to make sure that we have a representative in Congress who is willing to speak out and defend a woman's right to choose," said Eaton.

The two democrats have squared off in three debates.

They both say if they win, they will engage Dent head-on in the public arena.

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