JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A local political group, the Tiger Bay Club, sponsored a Q&A with candidates featured in the Florida Senate District 4 race Friday.
Aaron Bean says he pushes big, bold ideas to confront today's challenges. His opponent, Nancy Soderberg says she offers real solutions to real problems. But Friday's sparring for state senate wasn't about their slick slogans. This was the first time the two candidates met in the same room with a microphone.
Bean, a former state representative and Soderberg, a former national security official in the Clinton administration, answered questions from a mix of members of both political parties.
One of the most fundamental differences between the candidates was over Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test, or the FCAT.
“The FCAT is a great measuring tool of how we're doing, how we're doing in school and where we are,” said Bean.
However, Soderberg, a UNF professor says she would grade the FCAT with an “F.”
“Obviously we need testing, we need standards but that program is not working. It needs to be fixed."
Each laid out his or her vision for improving the economy, education and health care but offered very few specifics in what may be their only joint appearance before the election.
Action News asked Bean if Friday’s event would be the first and last time for the two to discuss the issues. “No, I think we've got a couple of forums. There’s more forums, more debates."
Soderberg says she has invited Bean to multiple debates but hasn’t heard him accept.
“There were a lot of questions that were not answered. There are a lot more questions that the voters want to hear us talk about,” said Soderberg.