Updated 09/04/2012 11:15 PM
Breslin, Morse participate in debate
The two democratic candidates in the 44th Senate District faced off in a debate. Neil Breslin and Shawn Morse were put to the test at Sage's Bush Memorial. Innae Park has more.
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TROY, N.Y. -- Applause rang out after each candidate for the 44th Senate District stated his view at a debate pitting incumbent State Senator Neil Breslin against Albany County Legislature Chairman Shawn Morse.
“I go to work every day, as I said, to make the state a better place,” said Breslin.
Morse said, “I want to be the guy who gets things done.”
Both being Democrats, they shared similar views: Raising minimum wage, not raising legislators' pay and opposing unfunded mandates, like Medicaid, from the state.
Areas of dissension: The use of charter schools and how to help curb violence in the Capital Region's cities.
But the tension was highest when it came to the importance of character, the eight term senator citing causes of Democrats gone delinquent.
Breslin said, “Look at what happened. Vito Lopez, Pedro Espada, Hiram Monserrate. Character counts. It’s like, if you go to a job interview, they want to know about you.”
And both saying they will not tolerate unethical behavior, with Morse criticizing the Assembly Speaker's handling of the latest scandal.
“If Shelly Silver has done what they said he's done, then he should be done,” Morse said.
But then they turned on each other, Breslin pointing at a fight the chairman had at the age of 22.
“It’s up to the voters. The more information we can give them to make a determination, they'll make a determination about somebody's character,” Breslin said.
“What we do is live, learn and pass it on. The mistakes I made don't define me. What defines me is how many times I got up from mistakes I made,” Morse said.
And when asked to say just one nice thing about the other, each man found it hard to speak.
“Apparently he's a good firefighter,” Breslin said.
Morse said, “Thank you for saying hello to me when I walked in.”