Tessa Roy — 10/11/12

The issues were finally in focus at tonight’s Massachusetts Senate debate.

Republican Senator Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren pushed aside personal attacks as they debated in front of 2,600 people at Springfield Symphony Hall. The two upheld moderator Jim Madigan’s request that they do not speak over or interrupt each other, allowing for a much more organized and civil debate.

Brown seemed most concerned with taxes and claimed he would never raise them for Massachusetts residents, let alone American citizens. Warren hit hard on education, arguing the nation has a “moral responsibility” to ensure the best academic opportunities for all children.

The night was not completely absent of quips. When Warren stated the middle class had been “hammered” by the current economic situation, Brown turned her words against her, telling her “I suggest you put down the hammer.” He then accused Warren of supporting large corporations.

Spectators could be heard discussing who they believed was the winner after the debate. One such spectator, Trajen Archie of Springfield, told WEBN he was impressed with both candidates. Archie praised Brown for making strong arguments and commended Warren for her performance.

“[Warren] showed she is there for middle class people,” he said.

The next, and last, debate is scheduled for October 30th at WGBH-TV in Boston at 7 p.m.