By Grant Bissell
Belleville, IL (KSDK) - The candidates for Illinois' 12th Congressional District squared off in a third debate Wednesday night at Lindenwood University in Belleville.
Republican candidate Jason Plummer, Democrat Bill Enyart, and Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw addressed topics including jobs, taxes, and the economy.
Early in the evening the candidates were asked about their plans to keep Scott Air Force Base.
Plummer responded by saying his focus, "Isn't going to be on keeping Scott Air Force Base, it's going to be on growing Scott Air Force Base. Not because of the local economy, but because the men and women there do a phenomenal job day in and day out protecting this nation."
Enyart, a retired commander of the Illinois Air National Guard, said he'd have instant credibility in Congress on defense issues. He added, "I've already brought units to Scott. I've already brought jobs to Scott."
Bradshaw took a different approach, suggesting a fifty-percent cut to the military budget.
"My plan is all about government spending to make a more prosperous economy," said Bradshaw. "Not just with the military industrial complex, but with actually putting people to work building a sustainable infrastructure."
The New York Times calls the 12th Congressional race a "toss up." Democrats have held the district for 68 years. But, incumbent Jerry Costello is retiring at the end of his term, leaving the seat up for grabs.
Brad Harriman won the 2012 Democratic primary, but then withdrew from the race. Bill Enyart was selected to take Harriman's place on the November ballot.