Danville, VA -- The first 5th district Congressional debate took place Wednesday night. Congressman Robert Hurt and General John Douglass both had plenty of supporters on hand.
The debate lasted an hour but they got a chance to give their position on everything from education to foreign policy. But some questions about controversial local issues got the crowds emotional.
"Absolutely John Douglass won. Absolutely," said Diana Persinger, Douglass Supporter.
"I think Hurt did. I am partial to Hurt and I think he presented himself well," said Garland Slayton, Hurt Supporter.
The crowds were divided and the answers, at times, heated. The panelists asked questions on everything from education to the legalization of marijuana.
But hands down, the most passionate responses came on the issue of uranium mining.
"I would never advocate reducing the regulatory burden on something like uranium mining in this country," said Hurt.
"I know about uranium, it's dangerous and if it gets into your water and it gets into your air it's going to ruin the Southside. This is as clear a case as we have ever seen," said Douglass.
On this issue, the debate even turned personal.
"We don't need the uranium for our country, we don't need it for Southside, the only people that are going to benefit from it are very few people who are investors, including Congressman Hurt's family," said Douglass.
"What my opponent has done is lying about this issue about my interest in uranium mining. I have none. I have none," said Hurt.
Another big topic was the economy.
"For the last year and a half we on the House side have worked, we have worked for bipartisan legislation that would create jobs, that would reduce regulation, would reduce costs," said Hurt.
"I've worked for Presidents in the Republican side, I've worked for Presidents in the Democratic side and I know how to create jobs and I know how to put the people in the 5th district back to work," said Douglass.
Throughout the debate Douglass referenced his time in the military and how important he believes it is to have a veteran in Congress. But Hurt said he has never been told, even from vets, that he shouldn't be in Congress because he didn't serve in the military.