AUBURN -- US Congressional District 4 candidates had their first debate before a local audience Tuesday morning at Auburn City Hall.
Supporters of Dr. Bob Derlet lined the streets outside, minutes before his first debate with opponent – and longtime Republican Congressman Tom McClintock. Derlet is a Democrat from Sonora, and the former chief of emergency medicine at UC Davis Medical Center.
"Congressman McClintock and I have our differences," Derlet said.
McClintock was first elected to represent California’s Fourth Congressional District, which covers a large portion of Central and Northern California back in 2008.
This election, he has been one of the few candidates to come forward with an endorsement of Donald Trump.
He hoped his party can change the direction the country is headed, in November.
"If they think the economy is stagnating and they're struggling to make ends meet then we, the republican ticket, need their help to change things. That's from the top of the ticket on down," McClintock said.
For the last 24 years, District 4 has voted a Republican into Congress, and in the June Primary, McClintock received more than double the number of votes as his opponent.
Derlet said that does not worry him.
"I am very confident because Republicans are looking for a fresh choice," Derlet said.
One of the biggest differences in opinion between the two candidates was on global Warming. While Derlet believes it is caused by humans, McClintock is not fully convinced.
"I'm not a climatologist, but I certainly read history. And the story of climate change goes back 4 billion years. Where the scientists break down and where there is a raging debate is to what extent if any is human activity involved in this phenomenon," McClintock said.
"Let's take a step back and say, what if it's not all caused by humans? Maybe it's caused by half by humans or quarter. Wouldn't we still want to do something?" Derlet asked.
On the topic of equal pay for women, Derlet made his stance clear.
"There should be no gender discrimination, and I think Congress should pass those laws," Derlet said.
McClintock on the other hand, bypassed the topic. Instead, he shared a story of when he was a young writer, chosen over a more experienced journalist. He said he negotiated with his boss to hire him for a lower pay, which landed him his first job.
"If he'd been forced to pay the minimum wage, I never would have gotten that job. That opportunity," McClintock said. "I think that both men and women should have the same right to negotiate a package of term and conditions that is right for them and right for their employer."
Both candidates agreed to have a second debate before the election.