Hollywood, FL – In a one-hour debate broadcast this morning over WFOR CBS 4 and moderated by Jim DeFede, Democratic Congressional candidate Tim Canova successfully laid out his optimistic, progressive vision for District 23 while contrasting it with incumbent Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s track record of failed leadership in Washington.

Many issues of crucial importance were touched upon during the encounter.  When questioned about the Democratic National Committee email scandal Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who served as DNC Chairwoman until her forced resignation less than a month ago, once again attempted to parry and deflect.  She failed to satisfactorily account for the DNC staff’s behavior under her leadership, which included attempting to tip the scales in favor of one presidential candidate versus the other and using party resources and time to monitor and strategize against her primary opponent.

On Social Security, Debbie Wasserman Schultz tried unsuccessfully to portray herself as engaged, active and supportive of struggling seniors and the disabled.  She repeated her disingenuous assertion that she is not dragging her feet on a host of Social Security enhancement initiatives currently in the House of Representatives when, in fact, of the seven bills she touts as showing her commitment to the issue, five were co-sponsored by her in recent months and only after drawing a primary challenger in our district.

Tim Canova successfully confronted Wasserman Schultz on the issue of campaign contributions.  Whereas his campaign is entirely funded by small contributions from everyday Americans, her campaign and PACs have been predominantly funded by large contributions coming from the very wealthy as well as corporate interests like payday lenders, the sugar industry, Wall Street and promoters of free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would ship American jobs overseas.

Tim Canova also talked about how we must protect our environment from greedy corporations who want to ravage our natural resources for profit, while Debbie Wasserman Schultz endorsed fracking in South Florida.

Canova also restated his resolute support for Amendment 2, a measure that would legalize the medical use of cannabis in the State of Florida.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz continued to vacillate and equivocate.  She opposed Amendment 2 in 2014, and still will not definitively support this constitutional amendment, which will be on the ballot in Florida in November.

“After months of trying I was pleased to have finally gotten this first opportunity to discuss the issues face to face with my primary opponent,” said Canova.  “I hope this debate is the first of many we will have over the next two weeks in order to give the residents of District 23 every opportunity to compare our positions and make the best choice for this seat.”

Tim Canova has already accepted multiple additional debate offers, including from AmericaTeve, a leading Hispanic television outlet in South Florida, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a leading civil rights organization first presided by Dr. Martin Luther King.

“I hope she will accept to do additional debates in general, but in particular those focused on issues of special importance to both the Hispanic and African-American communities,” Canova said.  “As wide-ranging as today’s debate was, I believe there is still much more to discuss, and we owe it to these groups to have debates that zero in on the issues that are of greatest relevance and concern to them.”

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