US Sen. Maria Cantwell, Susan Hutchison hold 1st debate

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Republican challenger Susan Hutchison sparred on topics ranging from tax cuts to trade wars to gun policy in their first of two debates before next month’s election.

The one-hour debate, sponsored by the Washington State Debate Coalition, was held at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.

Cantwell is seeking her fourth term. Hutchison spent two decades as a Seattle TV news anchor before leading the state Republican party for five years before stepping down earlier this year.

Cantwell captured more than 54 percent of the vote on August’s primary ballot, in which she appeared with 28 challengers. Hutchison secured her spot in the general election with 24 percent of the vote.

In opening statements, Cantwell said that that the state doesn’t need a “rubber stamp of the Trump agenda.” Hutchison countered by criticizing Cantwell’s vote against the tax-cut package, saying she’s “out of touch with working men and women.