In just their second on-stage appearance together on Thursday, the two Democratic candidates for Congress, Mac D'Alessandro and Stephen Lynch, got a bit testy toward the end of their time on stage.
When the opponents were asked how they differed from one another, Lynch, the incumbent, called out his challenger for caricature representations in mailings of him. One reported mailing has Lynch with elephant ears and a tusk, portraying him as a Republican, calling attention to his voting record.
"Even though it's been done to me, I think you just want to bring out the best in the political process," Lynch said. "I would never engage in a negative campaign or send nasty things out in the mail."
For the two minutes he addressed elderly voters at the Norwood Senior Center, Lynch didn't touch on differences on issues, but highlighted the differences in running a campaign.
"I won't go negative, that's not what I'm about," Lynch said. "I would rather lose honorably than stoop to that level."
D'Alessandro defended the mailings saying he had no other way to get Lynch's voting record in front of constituents since the congressman wouldn't accept a series of debates.
"That leaves me very little choice but to send mail to voters," D'Alessandro said. "It was intended to be humorous [...] maybe it wasn't, but if you look inside and read it, it was strictly about the congressman's record on issues."
With Lynch's hands tightly clenched laying on the banquet table, D'Alessandro told senior voters that Lynch voted against the health care reform bill and authorized funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"This is not an easy business," D'Alessandro said.
Voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide who will represent Democrats on the ballot in November.
D'Alessandro told seniors he would have voted for the health care bill, withheld a 'yes' vote for war funding without receiving answers on a plan, and would've voted in favor of the financial bailout in the fall of 2008, which Lynch voted against.
"Those are differences, they're real differences - they're based on issues," D'Alessandro said.