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Newstalk 870 was on site Thursday as State Sen. Mike Baumgartner and Dr. Art Coday debated in spirited fashion.

The Benton PUD Auditorium was filled to capacity as the two GOP candidates spent nearly 90 minutes answering questions from the crowd and delivering their solutions to political issues. Coday and current State Senator Baumgartner are vying in the primary to see who will challenge incumbent Senator Maria Cantwell.

Cantwell was invited to attend the debate staged by the Tri-Cities TEA Party, but declined because the U.S. Senate was in session in D.C.

Baumgartner, an influential senator from Spokane, and Dr. Coday (who ran in the primary along with Clint Didier against Senator Murray in 2010) both had hard-hitting answers to a variety of questions about health care, repealing Obamacare, defense spending, agriculture, and Social Security.

The lively debate was civil with Baumgartner and Coday often agreeing in principle. One thing did stand out:   the citizens there.

They represented a wide variety of age demographics who are not happy with the current leadership in D.C. from Washington State. Perhaps the quote of the night came from one gentleman who asked Dr. Coday and Senator Baumgartner if they would,  if either gets elected, introduce a bill to require Congress to be forced to take the insurance they voted for with Obamacare - as well as being forced to live on Social Security.

Click on the candidates names for more information on the campaigns of Dr. Art Coday, and Senator Baumgartner.