Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Republican challenger Jay Allen debated mask mandates, health care costs and student loan debt during a fast-paced debate Tuesday in the race for Maine’s 1st Congressional District.
The two candidates were cordial and occasionally found themselves in agreement on issues despite strongly divergent political philosophies.
Pingree, a progressive Democrat seeking a seventh two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives, is widely considered the favorite in the low-profile race. Allen is a family physician and former U.S. Army doctor who is running on a conservative platform for a seat won by Democrats in every election for the past 24 years.
Those differences were clear from the beginning of News Center Maine’s televised debate when moderator Pat Callahan asked Allen whether the COVID-19 outbreak at the White House had changed his opposition to broad government mandates on wearing face masks.
“No not really because I look at