DULUTH, MN -- 8th District seat hopefuls, Republican Pete Stauber, and Democrat Quinn Nystrom wasted no time Monday morning discussing topics import to the region.
The first question covered how each candidate would improve the digital divide when it comes to broadband access in rural areas.
Nystrom said increasing access is a desperate need, more so now with e-learning.
"I would be in favor of passing a large infrastructure bill so that we could expand here and greater Minnesota."
Congressman Stauber agreed. "We need to invest in federal infrastructure."
Next was how the federal government can provide access to quality childcare.
Stauber said the 8th District is a childcare desert.
"I am committed to ensuring the access to capital is there so we can open up more childcare facilities so that those working moms and dads can feel comfortable," said Congressman Stauber.
Nystrom said it's an economic issue.
"If we can't work harder to provide for more childcare centers regardless if that's public or private if we can offer them federal or state assistance, we have to give them opportunities to thrive as small business owners," said Nystrom.
Mining was a hot topic, moderators asked both candidates their thoughts on Twin Metals' proposed copper-nickel mine near the Boundary Waters.
"President Trump and I are fighting for the process to continue, we can mine safely using the best environmental standards and the best labor standards, these are additional union jobs that my opponent doesn't support," said Stauber.
"I have continued to say I am not against copper-nickel mining, what I do is I look at every single project with the information that is presented to me. I don't feel comfortable giving a green light to a project where a 60 plus page U.S forestry report has been completely blacked out and redacted," said Nystrom.
Representative Pete Stauber and Quinn Nystrom will debate again next week.
The 8th District seat flipped red in 2018, when Stauber defeated Democrat Joe Radinovich.
Before that, former congressman and Democrat, Rick Nolan held the seat for two terms.