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Quincy Democratic mayoral candidates square off in debate

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QUINCY (WGEM) -- With the primary election just one week away, Quincy Democratic mayoral candidates met for a debate hosted by WGEM Tuesday.

Both Brennan Hills and Nora Baldner promised boldness.

"We can be stagnant and continue down the path we have already traveled or we can forge a new direction with bold leadership and forward thinking initiatives," Baldner said.

"If we do not make bold choices and make progressive policies key, we are not going to get to where we should be," Hills said.

Hills said the main problem he see's is an ongoing lack of leadership from city hall.

"The lack of leadership in our community has been so ever present for as long as I've been alive that someone had to do something and do it quickly," he said.

Hills staked out the need for a different approach when it comes to law enforcement and affordable housing.

"You have to make around $56,000 to be able to afford affordable housing," he said. "That's just not realistic."

While Baldner acknowledged changes are needed, she said the city needs to stay the course when it comes to issues like workforce development.

"The 45 by 30 plan already has embedded in it a way to target cities and towns that have perhaps lost manufacturing and jobs and be able to market our city to people who are looking for jobs," she said.

Baldner said the same approach applies to fixing the city's roads and infrastructure.

"We've been talking about potholes and roads for 30 years so the good news is there's $18 million and there is a plan," she said.

Baldner said her experience will make her the mayor Quincy needs.

"We are facing big challenges and we need to do more with less," she said.

But Hills said experience isn't everything.

"I promise the citizens of this city that something will change under my leadership," he said.

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Blake Sammann

Blake Sammann is a reporter and weekend anchor at WGEM News.

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