Incumbent Frank Lucas (R) has some competition in Sue Barton (D) to return to office as District 3 Representative for the U.S. Congress.

Since 2002 Lucas has been the representative for District 3 and he’s been in Congress for 12 years. He is banking on his on track record of voting conservative throughout his time in office to be elected during the Nov. 7 general election.

“I come home every weekend (from Washington),” said Lucas during a forum held by the Stillwater League of Women Voters last night. “I am one of you.”

Barton made the same argument of being just like people of the third district.

“I am not a career politician,” Barton said. “I'm a citizen who is extremely concerned about where our government is going today.”

One of Barton's main concerns she discussed was that of the increasing “absolutely unfathomable” national debt. She argued that future generations would be paying off the debt and not being able to draw sufficient social security.

“We have to be accountable for every single dime we spend,” Barton said. She asked if the current administration is using the money the way they said they would.

Lucas agreed the social security aspect for the under 45 crowd is going to be insufficient if some changes are not made. However, he said that expenditures, such as the funding for the war in Iraq is something that he supports.

“I have no hesitations spending as much money as the military wants” to protect the young men and women serving our country over sees, he said.

The answer to the question of where the funding will come from the replace the spending, increasing the debt was a tricky one. Raising taxes is not the answer for either of the candidates.

While Lucas feels the extra revenue will generate from the economic growth within the country, Barton sticks with her solution of simply being more responsible and accountable for the money that does get spent.

Also, the two candidates agreed that a new farm bill would need to be drawn up in 2007, not that the current bill is not a good one, but additions to the bill will only make it better.

“I'd like to build on the last two good farm bills,” Lucas said. The positives of the current bill include the certainty of payment and the flexibility of that payment,” said Lucas, but drought issues need to be addressed.

Barton's main concern about the bill is that the people who need to get the money, actually do not get the money. She expressed much concern of the estimated 500 small farms that have disappeared from 2004 to 2005.

“If we want to continue to be a farm state, we must find ways to assist our farmers now and in the future,” Barton said.

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