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Bielat, Kennedy Face off in First Debate

The debate will air on WCVB this Sunday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m.

Bielat, Kennedy Face off in First Debate

In their first general election debate appearance, 4th Congressional District candidates  Sean Bielat and Joe Kennedy III went head-to-head Thursday night on several topics, including policy, job creation and social security.

Bielat, a Republican, also focused on his opponent's resume. He argued that Kennedy, a Democrat, does not have enough experience for the congressional seat, according to a report Friday in the Boston Globe.

The debate took place at the WCVB-TV 5 studios in Needham and was taped for the channel's political show, "On the Record" with Janet Wu and Ed Harding. It will air Sunday at 11 a.m.

The two nominees are running for the seat currently held by 16-term Democrat Barney Frank, who announced his retirement last year. 

In response to Bielat's claims that his opponent is relying on his family's name, Kennedy stood by his "record of public service" and touted his campaign's efforts to meet voters across the district, the Globe reported.

The two disagreed on most issues discussed during the debate, but came to agreement on state ballot questions for physician-assisted suicide and legalization of medical marijuana. Both candidates are opposed to the measures, the Globe reported. 

The WCVB debate is the first of three scheduled between Kennedy and Bielat. 

The next meeting will be at MassINC's "American Dream" debate on Oct. 10 at the UMass Dartmouth's Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River. That event starts at 4 p.m.

Bielat, who challenged Barney Frank for the congressional seat in 2010, will take questions from Patch readers on Oct. 11 at 12 p.m. in a live chat on sites covering towns and cites in the district, including Attleboro-Seekonk Patch. A similar request for a live chat has been sent to the Kennedy campaign, but the campaign has not responded.

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