Two Incumbents Facing Off for Congressional Seat

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA(KPTM)-- Southwest Iowans have a choice between two incumbent congressional candidates this election.

Republican Tom Latham and Democrat Leonard Boswell both have years of experience in the house.

But after Iowa lost a congressional district, the two are facing off against each other.

They had their final scheduled debate Thursday night in Council Bluffs on the Iowa Western Campus tonight.

Before the debate, people wanted to know how these two candidates, who have not represented that part of Iowa in the past.

"It's kind of an interesting issue now that we've had King for all these years to have these two new candidates come into council bluffs," said Scott Woods.

"Well, I'm a person that's going to work very hard for all Iowans, but particularly for the middle class. I'm a farmer, I'm a veteran. I served over 20 years in the military," said Boswell.

"I grew up on a farm, a small business person, I'm still involved in agriculture, so I understand that as a small business person, the challenges we have. Iowans are Iowans," said Latham.

The debate covered everything from the importance of the post office in rural areas to Boswell's bonuses for his staff.

Latham has attack ads out against Boswell for the staff bonuses.

"I just think it's wrong when everyone else is struggling to give these enormous bonuses to staff in Washington," he told the moderator.

Boswell countered by saying Latham was leading by misrepresentation.

He said Latham pays his staffers more per month than Boswell does.

Both candidates say their top priorities are going to be the deficit and economy, although both say they have very different views on the role of government.

One thing both can agree on is the need for bipartisan agreement in the house.

"We have to get to the point where we put people before politics, and progress before partisanship and that's what I've always tried to do in Washington is to whoever has good ideas we'll take those, we'll listen to them try to put everything together so we can in fact do the right thing for the American people," said Latham.

"We've got to work together, we've got to work this out and we can if we'll just settle down and do it and I think I'm the choice to do this and it's something that I want to do, it's very important," said Boswell.