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Bielat, Kennedy Face Off in First Debate

The debate will air on WCVB this Sunday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m.

In their first general election debate appearance, Fourth Congressional District candidates Sean Bielat and Joe Kennedy III went head-to-head Thursday night on topics including policy, job creation and social security.

Bielat, a Republican, also focused on his opponent's resume. He argued that Kennedy, a Democrat, does not have enough experience for the congressional seat, according to a report today in the Boston Globe.

The debate was held at the WCVB-TV 5 studios in Needham and taped for the channel's political show, "On the Record" with Janet Wu and Ed Harding. It will air this Sunday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m.

The two nominees are fighting for the seat currently held by 16-term Democrat Barney Frank, who announced his retirement last year. 

Among the towns in the Fourth District are Dover, Sherborn, Medfield, Hopkinton and Milford.

In response to Bielat's claims that Kennedy is relying on his family's name, Kennedy stood by his "record of public service" and touted his campaign's efforts to meet voters across the district, the Globe reported.

The two disagreed on most issues discussed during the debate, but came to agreement on state ballot questions for physician-assisted suicide and legalization of medical marijuana. Both candidates are opposed to those ballot questions, the Globe reported. 

The WCVB debate is the first of three scheduled so far between Kennedy and Bielat. 

The next meeting for the Fourth District candidates will be at MassINC's "American Dream" debate on Oct. 10 at the UMass Dartmouth’s Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River. That event starts at 4 p.m.

Bielat, who challenged Barney Frank for the congressional seat in 2010, will take questions from Patch readers on Thursday, Oct. 11 at noon in a live chat. A similar request for a live chat has been sent to the Kennedy campaign, but the campaign has not yet responded.

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