Dems for 21st hold debate

Welser admitted that he was probably the only candidate in the race with little-to-no political background, but, he said, "America needs someone from the private sector."

Topics of the debate varied throughout the night, from global warming and energy conservation to the war in Iraq " about which all candidates seemed to agree that U.S. troops should be brought home.

The one question that elicited different answers from among the candidates asked what piece of legislation would be the first the candidates sponsored if they were elected into Congress. Candidates had 60 seconds to answer

Brooks said her first action would be to lower gas prices, while Burridge said he would first work on a universal healthcare system, something Shahinfar also mentioned, along with energy legislation.

Freeman said his first initiative would be to change the allowance age for tobacco purchasing, online gambling, marriage, and drinking to 20 years old. He also said that people should be able to enter the military at 18 years old, but not actually be able to fight in combat until they are 20.

Steck said his first initiative would be to work on having an "immediate withdrawal from Iraq."

"Unless the war in Iraq has ended, all of this [universal healthcare, energy, etc.] is meaningless," he said.

Welser said his first piece of legislation would require all students who drop out of high school before age 16 to be drafted and create "remedial Saturdays" for students to attend school on the weekends.

Also at the debate, the crowd learned that not all candidates in the race have been Democrats all their lives. Brooks said she was raised in a Republican family, but that she had been a Democrat since 2002. Shahinfar said that for five years he was a Republican.

Aretakis said the issue of global warming is very important to him.

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