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PA Sen. Aument, challenger Troutman debate in Lancaster County

MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. --- Under a big screen at Penn Cinema Thursday afternoon, a debate set up the choices for the 36th senatorial district.

State Senator Ryan Aument, the Republican incumbent, is trying to defend his seat from his Democratic challenger, Bill Troutman, who is a councilman of Elizabethtown.

A variety of topics were discussed, including property taxes, the opioid epidemic, wages, population growth in the county, and view on statute of limitation reform.

One person in attendance, Grace Celley of Columbia, said she was impressed by Troutman's idea on improving education opportunities.

Troutman expressed support for more focus on junior college and apprenticeship programs.

“Actually just coming from HACC and being told that it’s looking like my major is going to be taken away, that was really important to me,” said Celley.

Another voter, Mary-Lynn Lavender of Lititz, said she was pleased with Sen. Aument’s comments on health care.

Aument called on Republicans to talk about what they’re "for" as opposed to "against" regarding health care.

His ideas included pushing for health savings accounts, shoring up social safety news and pay-for-service reform.

“Often, we don’t get the press, so to speak, on what we think. Sometimes people think that we’re 100 percent healthy and we’re really not,” said Lavender, a Republican.

A consistent take away from the candidates and on-lookers was the overall civility of the debate.

“I think that both candidates had positive things to say and agreed on many items,” said Neil Ward of Brownstown.

“It was everybody getting along, which was fine and I think both people did a really good job and the audience behaved, which is good,” said Jeanne Grimsley of Littiz and the Warwick Area Republican Committee.

“Really an example of what a debate should be in this political arena,” said Jacque Day of Elizabethtown and a volunteer on Troutman's campaign.

The midterm elections are in twelve days on Tuesday, November 6.