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Monday, October 25, 2010 - 4:00am

U.S. Senate Candidates Debate

Incumbent Republican Senator Johnny Isakson met his 2 opponent in their first debate this election season. Democrat Michael Thurmond and Libertarian Chuck Donovan faced Isakson in a debate sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club and aired here on GPB.

They touched on issues of how to fix the tri state water dispute, illegal immigration and abortion. On what to do with the federal health care law Isakson says he wants to start over.

"So You repeal it, you go to the drawing board, you allow insurance to be sold across state lines... Do those things and empower and bring coverage to those people who are no longer covered. But don't put the government in charge of health care for every single person and move the private sector out."

Michael Thurmond says a full repeal could hurt some current recipients. "If you repeal it, you take away important job tax credits for small businesses. If you repeal it, as it is now, there are children with pre-existing illnesses who will not have access to health care..."

Libertarian Chuck Donovan does not support the current health care law.

The candidates also differ on whether public broadcasting should get any support from congress. Donvan wants funding cut, Thurmond says he supports public television and radio and Isakson said every expenditure in congress should be examined.